New Jersey Roads - I-287 - NB - Morristown and S.

, Morristown and south

Who designed that EXIT ONLY tab?

WEIGHT is not a verb (well, not in this context... bear with me). Perhaps WEIGH, on the other signs, is. As I said on the SB page, Exit 8 leaves plenty of room for an NJ 18 shield and A-B suffix, for the gradually progressing extension. 18 originally would have crossed I-287, but now will end here, so I don't know what was originally proposed to fill in the A and B exits.

This is on the Exit 10 ramp, where it splits for Easton Avenue NB and SB. Since the pentagons were phased in around the '70's, this has to be original to this stretch of I-287 (the east-west Middlesex Freeway). I don't know why there isn't a SOUTH trailblazer pointing to the left (this ramp is in the median of Easton/527), unless it has departed this world. Click for crackly closeup.

I-287 NB has a big US 22 WB split because it's been heading west until now. There's a smaller 22 EB exit that was already passed. Bad adhesive for the missing I-287 shield. Bad adhesive. Naughty, evil, wicked...

Between US 202/206 and I-78 (exits 17 and 21), I-287 splits into a dual-dual configuration to separate traffic to/from I-78 EB and WB. There is no actual multiplex despite the signage, and traffic following the I-78 EAST signs just ends up on the outer roadway instead of the inner one; the rest of the outer roadway traffic is coming off of US 202/206. There's plenty of room to lower the y on the last sign.

On the outer roadway, 202/206 traffic now gets a chance to cut back over to the inner lanes in order to get to I-78 WB (mostly 206, as 202 is coming from the SW). This means all mainline traffic headed EB must weave with all entering traffic heading WB - luckily, this volume is much less significant than the opposite (mainline WB-onramp EB) would be. The shields on that second sign are pretty special - C-width font on the newer left BGS, D-width on the right, but with the numbers all different sizes anyway.

Signage over (or, in the last case, to the left of) the inner lanes of the inner roadway. Amusing that no one realized people might want to know Easton isn't a NJ city until well after the fabrication of the signage, but shouldn't PA be fully capitalized as a state abbreviation? Or is Easton your daddy?

Signage over the outer lanes; the first two photos are on the right side of the same structures as the last two photos of the inner-lane signage.

Overhead on the I-78 WB ramp to I-287 SB. Ramp B. No, D. P? R?

Yes, I was talking about the US 202/206 merge before, and yes, here they are several miles up the road, with a squished shield in the mix. Just north of this exit, they diverge again, with US 206 continuing dead-on north toward Netcong and US 202 heading northeast toward Morristown with I-287. 202 is the only surface route paired for any length with I-287 (if you don't count NY 59 and I-87/287 approaching the Tappan Zee Bridge), and they'll stick together up to New York State. Notice the very old street name identification on the overpass in the first photo, and how the button copy in the last two photos has the first letter of the direction larger, something that generally started happening after NJDOT dropped button copy.

I heard these drivers are having fun, fun, fun.

As you can see, the first photo is just a tad older. I'll explain the blank overhead in a bit when I get to some more of them.

Inside that northbound rest area. The original Blue Star Memorial Highway system, from what I was able to track down, did not include I-287 in its New Jersey network, but did include both I-78 and US 22. Clearly, at some point at least some part of I-287 was added. They appear to be associated with particular projects or designations, so you're unlikely to find more than one per highway per state.

Once the Somerset Freeway (I-95) was canned between I-295 and I-287, I-95 was no longer planned to take over the final few miles of what is now I-287 on the way to the NJ Turnpike. Exit numbering on 287 had come down to 1 five miles from its end, and then I-95 numbering would have taken over for the last few exits (although it was signed as I-287 and unnumbered while the Somerset was in planning), but NJDOT decided to kill that short stretch. I-95 ended up being rerouted down to Exit 6 on the NJTP and then to the PA border where it hits <../../pa/i-276>I-276, waiting for an interchange to be built with PA's I-95, and I-287's exit numbers got pushed southward. For awhile, the FORMERLY yellow tags were all over the highway, but this is one of two that hasn't been scooped up and dumped. The only reason NJDOT hasn't similarly dumped the button copy is that it's not right at the end of the exit ramp, but one must turn onto Tiger Lily Lane first.

Relics of when NJDOT tried to institute HOV lanes on its busiest free highways (I-80 and I-287), starting near CR 512. However, since this was simply conversion of an existing lane instead of creating a new lane, traffic got worse instead of better, and so the experiment was killed. I'm not surprised the HOV gantries are still up (although the retention of the reflective strip is question-worthy - is it so trucks know it's there?) - why spend extra money and disrupt traffic to dismantle all of them - but the pavement markings should have been rubbed out.

The last two photos are left/right on the same gantry.

On the last sign, you can clearly see the extra space to the right of the 37, meant for an A. NJ 24 still hasn't completely died as a northern bypass of Morristown, though it would take a lot to get it and NJ 178 built (see the NJ 24 page for more details). These signs were erected when the western half of current NJ 24 opened in 1992, and have provisions for "A-B" to be added. The Newark Airport sign, which has no such provision, was replaced by a Newark Liberty Airport sign when the widening of the SB ramp to NJ 24 occurred (it was one lane because there were supposed to be two through lanes of 24 EB, but since most traffic is now coming from I-80 to I-287 to NJ 24, it carries two through lanes' worth of traffic). SB signage is brand-new and is not prepared for lettered suffixes, which hints that maybe things are going to stay as-is.

Continue north on I-287 NB
Over to the SB side
Back to the I-287 main page

Exit 22 to US 206 or US 202/206
Exit 22 or 30 to US 202
Exit 26 to CR 525
Exit 35 to NJ 124
Exit 36 to CR 510
Exit 37 to NJ 24
Exit 37 to Newark Airport
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