Avoid Parkway this weekend: Half the lanes will be closed at Raritan toll plaza
EAST BRUNSWICK — It will be another weekend of delays on the Garden State Parkway when work crews return to one of the busiest stretches of the highway.
The Turnpike Authority said work begins Friday night at 7 to replace the deck of the southbound outer (local) lanes on the bridge over Bordentown Avenue in Sayreville, located just north of the Cheesequake service area. The work will close the locals lanes south of the Raritan tolls and the ramps from Route 440 onto the southbound Parkway.
The work is scheduled to end 7 a.m. Monday.
"By performing the work in a weekend-long high-intensity construction cycle, the Turnpike Authority is able to avoid long-term lane closures that would disrupt traffic in the area for months," the Turnpike Authority said in a statement.
Turnpike Authority spokesman Thomas Feeney said explained the seven lanes across the Driscoll Bridge will taper to four lanes between the bridge and the Raritan.
"At the tolls, one lane will go to the left toward the high-speed E-ZPass gantry (structure with the EZ Pass reader) and three lanes will go to the right toward the toll plaza. South of the tolls, the two high-speed E-ZPass lanes feed into the left and center lanes of the express roadway. Traffic coming through the toll plaza either goes right to exit at Main Street or Route 9, or stays left into the right lane of the express roadway."
"There have been some refinements in the merge from Route 9 onto the southbound Parkway that we hope will smooth the flow of traffic and reduce delays to some extent," Feenery said.
Additional signs will also be set up to help detour route.
"But the fact is, the capacity of the roadway is being reduced by half for the entire weekend. There are normally six lanes from the toll plaza to the Cheesequake Service Area. There will only be three this weekend. Delays are inevitable. That’s why we’re encouraging people to take an alternate route if they can," Feeney said.
Similar work in the same area the weekend of Nov. 10 caused delays of an hour. "It got real bad real fast especially after 11:00. The delays were horrendous. People were hours late to their destination. It's a real crucial spot for several highways in the area including the Parkway, and Routes 440, 287 and 9," New Jersey Fast Traffic's Bob Williams.
Williams suggested using the Turnpike as an alternative.
"Take Route 18 from Exit 9 if you're headed to the Shore. It could serve you well to get to southern Monmouth County and the area of Parkway exit 10 in Eatontown."
The detours are:
- The Parkway's local (outer) lanes will be closed, forcing all traffic to the express (inner) lanes. A temporary crossover to the inner lanes will be in place. The ramp from Chevalier Avenue in Sayreville to the southbound Parkway will also be closed through the weekend. This closure will impact drivers heading to the southbound Parkway from the Victory Circle in South Amboy.
- The ramp from southbound Route 440 (Route 287) to the southbound Parkway will be closed to alleviate traffic. Drivers will be detoured to Route 9 and Route 35 to rejoin the Parkway at Exit 117 and Lloyd Road in Matawan.