New Jersey Roads - NJ 124
NJ 124 grew westward in 1992, covering old NJ 24 from the Short Hills Mall area to US 202 in Morristown. Sometime before that, the eastern end shrank from the center of Newark (South Orange Avenue, Market Street, and NJ 21) to the Irvington/Newark border. 124 is still significantly longer than its parent route, NJ 24, once the latter was decommissioned west of Morristown, though maps still show 24 or even occasionally 124 along that stretch.
On South Street (CR 601) WB, which is the I-287 NB exit for NJ 124 and has a South St. entrance as well as one further up on NJ 124. The second sign has an arrow in the background which once had SOUTH I-287 above it, since the only SB entrance is from NJ 124 itself.
Sadly, the old shields were replaced, but at least it's still state-named.
EB east of I-287.
NJ 124 WB leaves downtown Madison by crossing under this low bridge. This was once the main road from Newark and Elizabeth to Morristown. 12'-9".
Old Main St. storefront.
Looking south along Waverly Pl. at its own railroad underpass; pretty much every street in Madison has one, linking NJ 124/Main St. with the parking areas along the older Kings Rd. that predates state highways and railroads. I think it has the nation's first blinking light warning in the center. No, really, is that a decades-old blinker, and just how special is it? It seems special.
Old Madison street signs.
The EB side of an old stone bridge by Van Doren Ave. in Chatham.
The WB side, featuring the bridge plaque from 1891.
The best view I could get looking north at the arch.
Much better views from the north side looking south, since I was able to get down to the water.
Fish prove it's an actual waterway, although trivial and nameless.
Old Chatham pushbutton signs, perhaps at Fairmount Ave.
Old standalone pole on NJ 124 EB in Chatham, probably dating from when the road was NJ 24, at Center St.
One block past Center St. is Passaic Ave., denoted by an embossed sign blade, which goes to Livingston.
Signage on NJ 124 EB, as it's about to become a frontage road for NJ 24 EB; this ramp is also used by NJ 24 EB traffic to JFK Parkway, as well as U-turning JFK traffic. The former wording of this sign as KENNEDY is very obvious (why bother? How many Kennedys are there?). The NJ 124 distance sign is missing a Parkway shield, but it has the wrong arrow - this one is supposed to be angled 45° as a square. Follow the JFK Parkway link at the bottom of the page for more from this interchange.
WB on NJ 124 just before it leaves the side of NJ 24 WB. It also is immediately after 24 West's Exit 7C for JFK Parkway, but before 7C has merged with the NJ 124 frontage road. This and the JFK sign date from the opening of this interchange, although it is possible this sign has an extra year or two of age (as JFK Parkway wasn't completed exactly at the same time as the first section of NJ 24).
You might think you're on NJ 24, but actually this is just the bridge over the JFK/124/24 megachange (new term!), where NJ 124 WB runs right alongside 24 WB. The perk is that because a ramp just merged from the freeway, 24's exit numbers briefly carry onto 124. The first two photos are left/right on the same gantry that spans to additional signs over NJ 24 WB. The rest of the signage from this level of the interchange is on the NJ 24 page, linked at bottom. After this, NJ 124 WB traffic follows a loop ramp and becomes Main Street in Chatham, former NJ 24.
A Road Runner and a Camaro greeted me as I turned from Summit Ave. to NJ 124 WB.
EB at CR 608, former Spur CR 527, but Essex County apparently forgot that fact within the last couple of years. As seen on that page, there is a very old (50 years or so) SPUR 527 assembly just a short distance up 608, so someone may have seen that and decided the 50-year old sign was more right than the modern-day CR 608 shields. Of course, this one happens to be on a state road, making it even more egregious, since NJDOT should know better by looking at their own SLD's. I'm not changing my position that Essex Co. is wrong until CR 649 is truncated to CR 608 and re-signed as Spur CR 527 once more. Also, who has been stealing all of these Parkway shields?
This old railroad arch straddles the Morris and Essex Turnpike, holding it to two lanes, but NJ 124 is four lanes on either side. Most of the traffic is on parallel NJ 24, though, so the bridge doesn't cause bottlenecks. Photos are NB, NB, SB.
Broad St. is effectively both CR 527 SB and CR 512 WB (not, as the second photo says, SB), while the opposite directions are on Morris Ave. Well, technically CR 512 begins at CR 527, about two blocks west, but the construction of NJ 24 is responsible for that. Long ago, CR 527 was both directions of Morris Ave. (turning into Springfield Ave. to the west), and CR 512 was both directions of Broad St., then taking Springfield Ave. after CR 527 leaves it. And if that's not confusing, Springfield Ave. in Summit again turns into Morris Ave., thanks to the fact that Springfield continues one-way the wrong way for a block before resuming. And, of course, Morris Ave., Broad St., and Springfield Ave. all stay a couple of blocks away from each other.
History was made at the former end of CR 577, Main St., before it was rerouted to the east when I-78 was built.
This is where 124 (or HZI, hardy har har) EB turns west ever so briefly. In essence, this is a split circle, with the splitting road being the Morris-Essex Turnpike. NJ 82 pokes out of the south side of this, and MILE 0 is at the traffic light where this sign stands; to the north, the Turnpike is NJ 124. 124 WB runs most of the way around the circle, coming through the next traffic light and joining Springfield Avenue. Somewhere under the 124 shield should be a TO, and you can get to NJ 24 (westbound only, since it ends at I-78) either by following 124 eastward or by making a left back onto NJ 82 WB and then going straight onto 124 WB. If that seems confusing, try following CR 577 through the intersection.
The first sign is on Vauxhall Road NB, which has already intersected I-78 EB (and before that, the Garden State Parkway). The second sign is of course on NJ 124 WB, and is peculiar in that the NJ 24 shield is there. Since the opening of the 78-24 freeway, NJ 24 has not been on Springfield Avenue (it was 124's job to replace the surface parts of 24 as it progressed), and that shield is much newer than that - so it should be part of a TO WEST 24.
Both of these are old Essex County signage (the signal overhead is obviously much older); black-circle arrow signage still stands on Broad Street, among other Newark places. They are also both just past the Irvington-Newark on CR 603, former NJ 124. 124 now begins at the Maplewood/Irvington border but once extended into Newark, ending either at CR 510 (South Orange Avenue/Market Street) or continuing on Market Street to NJ 21, the McCarter Highway. The white sign is at the end of Avon Ave.
CR 603 WB at Nesbit Terrace, Irvington.
Onto NJ 24
Onto the JFK Parkway, CR 649
Onto CR 608, former Spur CR 527
Onto CR 512
Onto CR 527
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