New Jersey Roads - US 1-9 SB

US 1-9 SB

Just south of the end of NJ 5, click on the first photo to see the dates of these signs - hint: Kennedy was still alive.

Just past those shields, embossed Junior steals a custom sticker.

Why not make the shield wide enough to fill that extra black space, instead of crunching the digits and the hyphen?

A short stretch of original cable guiderail behind the modern steel stuff. It wouldn't have done too much to keep a speeding car from crashing down the slope into the trees.

SB approaching the Tonnele Circle and NJ 139, standard NJDOT borderless circle signage.

Just past the above sign is a small bridge with this stamped into it. Tonnelle Avenue (yes, one l for the Circle, two l's for the Avenue - although you'll find just as many references for both spellings at both locations) has long been US 1-9, and has long been over capacity, being only four narrow lanes with no hope of widening. Before 1953, all US routes ran concurrent with state highway designations, much as in Georgia nowadays, and this was the route of NJ 1. NJ 1 had followed what is now NJ 440, US 1-9, and US 9W since about the time of the designation of the US Highway system in 1926, creating an interesting US 1-NJ 1 multiplex. This bridge dates from long enough ago to refer to the NJ 1 part of the 1/1-9 highway (just as some old bridges on US 46 refer to NJ 6).

Well, the circle sign and the old bridge are both gone, part of a massive project to reconstruct US 1-9 Truck and get the Tonnele Circle moving a little better. The new, much wider US 1-9 Truck, which ties directly into US 1-9 to/from the north, will eventually lead to a new Wittpenn Bridge on NJ 7 with no traffic light at the 7/1-9 junction, just a large, loopy interchange. The ramp seen here in February 2010 is slowly becoming the future US 1-9 Truck NB ramp onto US 1-9 NB. Because there are few trucks allowed in the Holland Tunnel, most of them will be following this ramp.

Scrap bin arrow inside the circle.
Drive the Pulaski Skyway!

The older style of variable speed limit signage; the newer type has seven elements per light (like those on the NJ Turnpike), but this has a bunch of dim light bulbs (at least the ones on NJ 495 were bright) at the northern beginning of the Pulaski Skyway.

Like the NB-only Broadway exit from the Skyway, this also is an inner ramp.

They could have closed the whole Skyway to get the work done faster, but with the need to prioritize signals along US 1-9 Truck and beef up I-78 to handle diverted traffic, NJDOT decided to just close one direction and do the work in halves. NB was closed, SB got this tunnel effect for a few years, and all the exits were closed to be worked on as well. These photos give you the best views of 20th-mile posts, a novelty unique to this road, and the ancient assembly at the Raymond Blvd. exit ramp gore that was removed as part of reconstruction. Newark and the Oranges are destinations associated with I-280, which also leads to the Parkway, but fine, use I-78 to get there instead. Click on the first photo for a sign closeup. In the second photo, you can see US 1-9 Truck's Passaic River drawbridge and the rare sight of a truck on the Skyway. The first and last photos show off the old bridge railing that was reconstructed as well.

This is the very base of the Skyway; the two BGS's on the right are technically on US 1-9 Truck, which ends as soon as the ramp from US 1-9 magically makes them 1-9 Local.

Signage from the lanes above Newark. Notice the difference in the ages of the signs; the local lanes' older signage gives a less recognizable destination, uses all caps, and is made of button copy. (The Wilson Ave. sign was later replaced, but I got you a clearer version of those that remain.) This is due to reconstruction in the 1990s, starting with the SB lanes (originally both directions) to remove the original center exits and entrances that still typify the Pulaski Skyway, and then putting US 1-9 NB onto its original alignment (SB express lanes) to reconstruct the newer NB viaduct. My guess is that the old SB express signs had to be taken down to mount temporary NB signs on the same gantries.

The signs in the second photo (which is the right side of the first photo's gantry) and the signs in the third photo are on the C-D road serving ramps from I-78 and from US 1-9 SB to I-78. The diagrammatic is nice and new, and is an example of how contractors occasionally get things right. On the left of the first photo, the mile advance BGS for Newark Airport has been replaced by a Newark Liberty monstrosity, for which I squished the boring middle sign to show you more glory.

Showing the old sans-Liberty airport sign (courtesy Doug Kerr); the "NJ Turnpike" is redundant, given the shield on the left, but then again, so near the airport it's good to give travelers an idea of where they're going.

The US 1-9 SB ramp to I-78, taken in 1997 by John Krakoff. Clearly, the original intent was to keep Parkway traffic in the Express lanes until the next crossover, but also clear is that this was causing traffic some trouble.

The classic Anheuser-Busch building and another Liberty sign in the Local lanes, of that very crackly first generation.

The SB signage for NJ 81 is uniformly old and... missing NJ 81 shields. Yup, every single exit on the freeway is listed on the advance guide signs, so why bother showing the number? The last two photos are in the Express and Local lanes, respectively. Do those I-95 shields look a bit funky to you? Take a closer look:

The font is series E, but doesn't fill the sign; the red INTERSTATE panel is faded; and there's no state name to fill that vast, empty blue space above the "95".

I'm sorry I ever said the signage was uniformly old. The replacements are vastly inferior and missed a chance to conform to modern standards.

Now in Elizabeth, this railroad overpass was built for the original highway here, which was, believe it or not, NJ 1 (in 1927, a different NJ 1 took over another part of US 1-9 - more on that later). At the time, it was at most four lanes, or else a generous two, so when US 1-9 was expanded to six divided lanes, rather than demolish the bridge, the creative solution was found of turning the existing roadway into 1-9 SB and routing the NB lanes on the far side of the bridge. Thus you get what you see in the second photo, which is now in the median of the highway (both photos are taken adjacent to the SB lanes). At some point in the 20th century, a few tracks were taken out, and part of the old bridge removed, meaning not only does the original bridge span just half the roadway, but about half of the original bridge is all that spans it.

US 1-9 runs a gauntlet of lights in northern Elizabeth and comes to its only exit at Elizabeth Ave. The homemade sign is across from the end of that ramp at a driveway. The lights are usually better timed than this.

Remember the SHR 1 bridge stamp above? Here's one from farther south. US 1 was designated over NJ 26 south of New Brunswick way back in 1926, switching over to the NJ 25 alignment from there on; this is why NJ 26 still exists at all, the last little piece of the old route. NJ 25 continued on up toward Elizabeth and Newark, following the Pulaski Skyway to the Holland Tunnel. The last little piece of NJ 25 is now NJ 139, while the rest of it is either US 1-9 or no longer in the system. Anyway, this Rahway bridge could have been built anywhere between about 1927 (when route numbers were reassigned) and 1953 (when it happened again, the Second Great Renumbering); after 1953, US highways were allowed to be their own routes, without multiplexing with a State Highway.

Two views of the NJ 35 cloverleaf from US 1-9 SB, the first such interchange in the United States. Built about 80 years ago, it's going to start getting replaced any day now. No, really. More photos on the NJ 35 page (link below).

I don't remember when I took this photo, but given that US 1-9 generally has no left turns south of the Tonnele Circle, I'm guessing it points down US 9 at the southern split. I don't know why 9 would be the alternate route to the Outerbridge (NJ 440), since it seems to me the best way to go.

The old signs at the southern split, along with the evidence that US 9's exit was once only the left lane. Now, with reconstruction, US 9 SB passes underneath US 1 NB, and there are plenty of lanes to go around. Unfortunately, these famous old signs, courtesy J.P. Nasiatka, perished.

Also perished, and possibly should have been as famous, these relics were approaching the split that you can see was under construction at the time (2002), courtesy David Greenberger.

Over to the NB lanes
Construction of US 1-9 connector to US 1-9T
Southward on US 1 SB
Southward on US 9
Back north on US 1/9/46
Onto US 1-9 Truck
Back to US 1-9 main page

Onto NJ 93
Onto NJ 139
Onto Raymond Blvd.
Onto NJ 21
Onto US 22
Onto I-78
To the Garden State Parkway
Into Newark Airport
Onto unsigned NJ 81
To I-95, the NJ Turnpike
To Dowd Avenue
To North Avenue
Toward the Outerbridge Crossing to NJ 440
Back to the 2014 NYC Road Meet
Back to New Jersey Roads
Back to Roads

Don't forget the Pulaski Skyway video