New Jersey Roads - I-95/NJ Turnpike

New Jersey Turnpike (NJ 700) and I-95
Can you say "arrow error" five times fast? (sign #4) Second sign courtesy Doug Kerr.

Uncollected Turnpike tickets from Exit 11 (if you try to exit at the same place, you get charged the maximum amount). I exited at 16W, but was only there to visit the Turnpike maintenance facilities, so was able to come back around and get a new ticket without officially exiting. Don't try that at home. The new ticket, dispensed by new machines, allows all vehicles to use the automated dispensing systems, not just cars. Yes, I pulled the same trick a second time. As an official vehicle, I stress.
Interchange 6-9 Widening

NJ Turnpike (NJ 700)
NJ Turnpike Pennsylvania Extension (I-95)
I-95 and NJ Turnpike
NJ Turnpike Newark Bay Extension (I-78)
NJ Turnpike Eastern Spur
NJ Turnpike Western Spur (I-95)
Free I-95 (Northern)
I-95 and US 1/9/46

Former I-95 (Trenton), now I-295

NJ 700 was the original designation for all parts of the mainline Turnpike that weren't I-95. The newer western spur of the Turnpike is signed to the George Washington Bridge and is officially I-95 according to the FHWA, but it's actually NJ 95W internally. The purpose of signing it as the mainline is to keep traffic on the eastern spur going mainly to the Lincoln Tunnel on NJ 495. Exit 14 takes you to I-78, which carries the Newark Bay Extension of the Turnpike through Exits 14A, 14B, and 14C to the Holland Tunnel approach. It began as NJ 700N before the Interstate system was adopted. Exit 6, the Pennsylvania Extension, now carries I-95 to the PA border (see the I-95 page for more information, link at bottom), but once was numbered internally as NJ 700P.

I-95 was free in two parts from the mid-1980s until 2018. The first part is the current northernmost segment of I-295 that comes out of PA by Ewing, NJ, crossing the Delaware on the last free Interstate route out of NJ, the Scudders Falls bridge. It ran eastward to US 1 and ended. Yes, ended; I-95 NB turned into I-295 SB. Yes, southbound; I-95 traffic followed that a few miles to I-195 EB to the NJ Turnpike NB and then all is well. You may be wondering, why the complication? The answer is something called the Somerset Freeway. Steve Anderson (link at bottom) describes this in detail, but the original plans for I-95 called for it to leave the Trenton half-loop around milepost 5, and cut northward around Princeton toward New Brunswick. I-95 would then cut northeastward to I-287, and run the last five miles eastward on what is now 287 to the NJ Turnpike, while I-695 was planned to split northward to 287, forming a wye. The wealthy people in southern Somerset and northern Mercer Counties, however, put up a successful fight to block construction, leaving ghost grading for the northern leg of a 3-Y on I-95 around Trenton, now surrounded by development. I-287 changed its exit numbering to absorb the five miles that used I-95 proposed numbers, and after the failure of one last-ditch effort to build something along an alignment paralleling US 1 to the east, I-95 was stretched down the Turnpike to the PA Extension. This means that I-95 met the PA border in two separate places for those 30-odd years until I-276 and I-95 were finally made to meet instead of cross, at which point I-295 was extended all the way around former I-95 back down to 276. The extension was at times considered to be I-195 (requiring the entire roadway to be re-mileposted and signed, and resulting in a mainline on a loop ramp) or a new number I-895 (once considered for a Burlington-Bristol Bridge bypass), but resulted in a 295 that is half loop and half bypass, running northward from Delaware for 65 miles and then curving to the west and south. It also became the second three-state 3di after I-275 around Cincinnati (I-495 around DC is two states and a district).

And now, the northern free part. The NJ Turnpike's original northern terminus was at what is currently Exit 68, running into US 46; traffic to the George Washington Bridge would then head east. As I-80, then just the Bergen-Passaic Expressway, took shape, it was decided to tie into that roadway, and I-95 was extended past the end of the tolled Turnpike to I-80, around a geologically and geographically determined hump, and to the bridge from the west. Because I-80 was intended to be free, I-95 from there eastward also had to be free, and since there was already a toll plaza before US 46, the extension is free as well. Recently, the highway from 80 east to US 9W (Exit 72) came under the jurisdiction of the Turnpike Authority up to the GWB approaches (owned by the Port Authority of NY and NJ), and the exit numbers no longer match the Turnpike mile markers. (Many motorists who follow I-80 into I-95 up here believe that the exit numbering is simply continued. After the last exit on 80, Exit 68, the next exit one comes to heading eastward (NB) is Exit 70. It's a strange coincidence that the final determined routing of the Somerset Freeway, along I-287 and then onto the NJ Turnpike, would have brought I-95's and I-80's mileposts within mile of each other at their junction. The northern free I-95 has thus been numbered continuously with the southern free I-95; of course, now that its route has so drastically changed, the numbers are essentially meaningless, and probably are only still there for continuity from I-80 - or no one's ever brought up changing them.)

Third-generation (1970s-vintage) versions of the Turnpike's variable message signing. The black signs have red neon tubing that advises of delays, including distance and reason. The speed limit signs will go anywhere between 65 and, well, hypothetically 5, though the lowest I've seen is 35. If not all the panels are working (not sure of what materials go into the signs), you get what we have here. Speed Limit =,

Taken out of their natural elements, here are variable message signs and pieces thereof, courtesy HNTB Corporation. These button-copy relics are on their way out, as the Turnpike has replaced many of them with fully reflective panels and will soon be replacing everything.

Into Pennsylvania on I-95
Into New York on I-95
On Steve Anderson's and
~ Free I-95 (Trenton) and the unbuilt Somerset Freeway
~ NJ Turnpike and northern free I-95
~ NJ Turnpike Pennsylvania Extension
~ George Washington Bridge
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