New Jersey Roads - NJ 165/NJ 29
NJ 165 (NJ 29)
NJ 165 has been a state highway for awhile, since the original NJ 29 took it straight into NJ 179 and headed toward Somerville. NJ 29A was the highway that branched off at Main Street and headed toward Frenchtown. When NJ 29 was routed over former 29A in 1953, NJ 179 was routed over old US 202, which meant it comes into Lambertville as Bridge Street and leaves up the former NJ 29. That leaves NJ 165 to cover the few blocks of old NJ 29 betwen new NJ 29 and new NJ 179. Got it?
There's more. Due to traffic through its downtown, Lambertville decided to make Main Street one-way southbound for its last block, and not tell anyone how to get to it northbound. Therefore, TO NORTH 29 signs were erected along NJ 165, and 29 NB traffic was allowed to jog back at NJ 179. This was a fine solution, except no one notified NJDOT, so Main Street carried both directions of NJ 29 - on a one-way street! Very recently, on perusal of straight line diagrams, I discovered to my surprise that someone had caught this, and not only moved NJ 29 NB onto NJ 165/179, but also moved the SB lanes onto 179/165 as well! If this happened legislatively, and isn't just an error due to signage trumping law, that means that NJ 165 is now completely multiplexed with NJ 29 in both directions, beginning seemingly arbitrarily in the middle of a four-lane highway and ending just as arbitrarily as soon as it touches a state route. I wonder if that oddity will ever be corrected.
The first sign on NJ 165, which may as well drop the TO, since whether this is now 29 or not, it's more confusing to make drivers think they inadvertently left 29 than to placate them and be wrong.
Most drivers aren't looking for mileposts, but this .1 should confuse them sufficiently if they don't know about 165.
On the other side of some impressively old bridges is the .2 milepost, or 2 if you come at it northbound.
This NB sign dates from the days when this was actually NJ 29 - there's a similar one on NJ 23 where the Newark-Pompton Turnpike crosses the Passaic River. That one's actually more interesting, since the bridge was rebuilt but the sign wasn't replaced - here the bridge is original.
Here is the SB side of the bridge with its own old sign.
Looking across at the eastern (NB) side of the bridge, and a much older bridge beyond it. That's Franklin St., which joins NJ 165 just to the north at the end of CR 518. I'll head there next.
The west side of the bridge, including a drainage port.
Each side of the bridge has a peculiar handwritten message. The east side of the bridge appears to have builders' initials, and the west side says "County Bridge Built 1872-3". Go visit.
A few hundred feet from the beginning, here's the end of 165, and you can see in the background that the NORTH 29 assembly has no TO on it.
Onto NJ 29 alone
Onto CR 518
Onto NJ 179
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