Following the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season on Wednesday, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Turnpike Authority and South Jersey Transportation Authority have announced that annual hurricane preparedness drills will take place Thursday along six roads that serve as coastal evacuation routes.

In a release, NJDOT stressed that none of the involved highways would be closed during the exercise.

Work crews from all four participating agencies may be seen near these routes on Thursday with the goal of preparing a contraflow, or reversal of traffic in the opposite direction it is intended.

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NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said in the release that the drill is done to guard against a "worst-case scenario."

Motorists can expect to see cones, barrels, and message boards, but NJDOT said those materials would not actually be deployed, since no roads will be closed. Variable message boards will inform drivers during the duration of the exercise.

The affected highways will be:

  • Atlantic City Expressway (entire span)
  • Garden State Parkway (milepost 0, Lower Township, to milepost 38, Egg Harbor)
  • I-195 (milepost 6, Robbinsville, to milepost 34, Wall)
  • Route 72 (milepost 13.8, Barnegat, to milepost 29, Ship Bottom)
  • Route 47 (mileposts 16 to 21, Dennis, and mileposts 32 to 35, Maurice River)
  • Route 347 (milepost 0, Dennis, to milepost 9, Maurice River)

NJDOT reminds motorists to slow down and, if safe, move over to accommodate roadside work crews.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions: