New Jersey Roads - Garden State Parkway - SB - Raritan and S.
Garden State Parkway SB
Raritan River and South
In summer of 2004, expansion of the Alfred Driscoll (I think his middle initial is P.) Bridge was in progress from the north shore of the Raritan River. The current bridge is 12 lanes, 6 each direction, but 10' wide and with negligible shoulders. If you do the math, 12 10' lanes is 10 12' lanes. Add shoulders, and you end up with the number 8. Once the new span is complete and the old one touched up, the old one will carry 8 northbound lanes, possibly in a configuration that separates Exit 127 and/or 129 traffic from the mainline. The new span is only equipped for seven lanes, curiously, especially curious given that the Raritan tollbooth is now southbound-only; as part of Express E-ZPass installation at more mainline Parkway tollbooths, they are being alternately demolished NB and SB, and tolls doubled to 70 cents. Why not 75 cents?
All of these photographs were taken from Smith Street, which runs right along the river, by the construction entrance, and to a bunch of cool signage at either end. The first photo shows the limit of the bridge work, with the tie-in to the main roadway to be performed later. The second photo shows the little bit of multilane-age that Smith Street gets to enjoy, as a divided highway that's more a set of ramps than a highway. The rest of the photos show the limits of construction as of August 2004, with the new US 9 span to the left of the second-from-last photo.
In late summer 2006, the southbound lanes are almost all open, and the old southbound lanes are under rehabilitation to become the new northbound lanes; the existing northbound lanes will become the lanes for Exit 127.
The NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN began 12/29/04, as construction progressed to add E-ZPass high-speed lanes to the now-SB only Raritan tollbooth - specifically, this new pattern put all E-ZPass lanes to the left of a barrier, and all cash lanes to the right, with toll equipment upgrades going on between the two behind some barriers.
Only in the SB local lanes does this exit have squareless shields (i.e. missing their traditional black background), a practice that's starting to creep over NJ's newest signage and has long been infiltrating the Garden State Parkway stealthily. The centered, separate exit tab is another Parkway-specific, non-uniform practice (scroll around this page for more).
The first sign, courtesy Scott Colbert, comes ¼-mile after a 2 mile advance sign, has an awful 195, and in both of these NJ 138 is clearly patched over something. Could it be NJ 38, which was originally intended to cross New Jersey and link up with current NJ 38 near Cherry Hill? The signs don't seem old enough to me, but Scott traced them back to December 1987, a scant few months before this became 138. Great detective work!
The last photo is courtesy Scott Colbert. Old centered and unlabeled exit number, random appearance of button copy, more backgroundlessness, an off-center one-piece assembly, and a helpful but nonstandard curve warning. Why isn't this 82A/82B?
All the Exit 77 signage looks like this, from Scott Colbert - guess the Turnpike Authority forgot to contract out the use of an engineer's curve.
Still from Scott, this was the SB-off half of the half-diamond that was Exit 74 (CR 614); now it's a full folded-diamond, meaning that SB-on and NB-off ramps have been added. I don't know why this ramp was demolished just to make a loop on the other side, and why there couldn't have been a full diamond instead.
New sign, looks fine? Get out your ruler, the NJ 72 shield is well off-center.
Notice how each exit has a different style BGS. I don't care if you're wrong, at least be consistently wrong every time so I only have to blame you for one set of things (in this case, squished CR shield and centered exit tab are the problems).
Wrong, very wrong, in yet another way. The US 9 shield is squished in yet another dimension, and not at all proportionate, and while the second sign gets it right, there are spacing and arrow width issues. The exit sign doesn't match anything at all (the font is very tall and thin, and the arrow is way too straight instead of tapered), and it sits atop a very short decel lane for a reasonably tight loop. Safe, it ain't. This is the other end of the multiplex that's briefly shown in the NB section as Exit 50 in New Gretna, and the original unmultiplexed US 9 (former NJ 167, now just mouldering away) can be seen in the background of the second photo.
This new sign replaces the one you can see in the bottom right of the last photo above. The tiny shield is cute, and makes the word "ROUTE" look a little redundant.
Between the first and second photos above is another county shield, just because I can.
Yet another incorrect take at a county shield, along with strange blank space that looks added on, as if there's a temporary message that sometimes needs to be displayed.
These US 30 shields resemble the more correct US 9 shield at Exit 48, but are still too narrow, and lack the black background that the rest of NJ has. Second photo courtesy Scott Colbert.
As you can see, some signs have the Expressway on a reversed color scheme, others don't. The rest of the signage up here's a little weird, too, but I've given up on this stretch of the Parkway. Worth noting is that the Expressway WB is Exit 38A, instead of a 38E/W setup or even 38/39. I guess the Highway Authority really wanted to emphasize that travelers should be heading eastward.
Adding thumbscrews to the torture rack, here are two more signs to make you gouge your eyeballs out in agony. The first needs shield backgrounds, a larger arrow, a larger exit tab, correct "EXIT" font, and no line between destination cities (well, AC was tacked on, but it should have been there in the first place. It's kind of important). The second sign... as I look at it, my stomach is turning. Glancing away for a moment, the county shield is too wide, and I don't like the recent trend of taking first the county name and then the word "COUNTY" out entirely from BGS's. You know the next step is to do the same to county shields, just like was done to US shields and all the old state route shields (did you know NJ shields had writing in them once?). Same exit tab and undersized arrow problems. By the way, there were two Northfields in NJ until Livingston Twp. sucked one of them up.
Attack of the hyphens at the bottom of the Exit 37 ramp.
New bridge coming over Patcong Creek northwest of Somers Point.
The old US 9 Beesley's Point Bridge crosses Great Egg Harbor just west of the Parkway bridge. While I hesitate to call the Parkway one modern, Beesley's Point is ancient history, as it has been torn down after years of being closed. It complemented the Parkway bridge as a parallel toll bridge, the second-to-last in the state (leaving just Dingman's Ferry), and its demolition resulted in a US 9 detour between Exits 25 and 29 becoming permanent.
Through the at-grade exits, starting with a comparison of the shields and signs on the left and right sides of the SB lanes. Mechanic Street is one of a few unnumbered exits from the Parkway in this stretch - at least one is a dead-end street with a signblade! Oh, and proof that one South Jersey contractor needs to be barred from future Parkway jobs, for as you can see these awful things resemble those further up this and the NB (link below) pages.
Even when you exit the GSP, no rest for the weary. Old shield at right, new at left - I prefer the true oval. The right shield, and the WEST one in the background, need the directional banner on top, and just maybe then EAST NJ 147 can have its right arrow back. Courtesy Scott Colbert.
A somewhat crowded exit tab, but at least this is standard Parkway fare.
2-digit shield at the very end of the Parkway, courtesy Scott Colbert.
Over to the NB lanes
Back north on the SB lanes
Interchanges 48-63 widening
The Beesley's Point stub
Back to Garden State Parkway main page
Exit 105 to NJ 35
Exit 105 to NJ 36
Exit 98 to I-195, NJ 34, or NJ 138
Exit 91 to CR 549
Exit 82 to NJ 37
Exit 63 to NJ 72
Exit 58 to CR 539
Exit 48 or 9 to US 9
Exit 44 to CR 575
Exit 40 to US 30
Exit 38 or 38A to the Atlantic City Expressway
Exit 37 to US 40
Exit 37 to US 322
Exit 36 to CR 563
Over to Beesley's Point Bridge
Exit 6 to NJ 147
Exit 4 to NJ 47
Onto NJ 109
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