For once, there is good news on the NJ transportation front. The widening of the New Jersey Turnpike between exits 6 and 9, construction of which has snarled turnpike and surrounding traffic for the past five years, is now complete. The northbound lanes were scheduled to be opened today, and next weekend the southbound lanes are slated to be opened. It will be just in time for holiday travel.
The $2.3 billion project, which came in $200 million below the original $2.5 billion budgeted, began in 2009 and was paid for with state toll money.
The project added 170 lane-miles -- doubling the capacity along a 25-mile stretch of corridor from Middlesex to Burlington counties, as well as adding an additional lane to the outer roadway between Interchange 8A and 9 in East Brunswick.
At its peak, the construction, which also included upgrading or building new toll plazas and building or modifying 102 bridges and culverts, among other things, was the largest active roadway project in the Western hemisphere.