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DECADE-LONG EFFORT TO ADD SOUTHBOUND EXIT RAMP AT GARDEN STATE PARKWAY'S INTERCHANGE 83 MOVES FORWARD, PROMISING RELIEF FOR LAKEWOOD & TOMS RIVER COMMUTERS




Currently there is no exit on the Garden State Parkway southbound between Exit 89 in Brick and Exit 82 in Toms River, a seven-mile stretch that is among the most densely populated in Ocean County. Drivers who need to reach this section of Toms River (which contains many frum neighborhoods) must exit the parkway at either Interchange 89 and travel south via Route 70 to either New Hampshire Avenue or Route 9 - adding to Lakewood's already congested roadways - or continue south on the parkway to Interchange 82 to either U-turn onto the northbound parkway or use the jughandle ramps at the Routes 37 /Route 166 or Route 37 /Hooper Avenue intersections to access points north of Exit 82.


Ocean County officials have been working closely with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) over the years on a project to reduce this traffic congestion by adding a southbound exit ramp at 83.


This project has just finally moved a meaningful step forward, FAA News has learned.


The expansive plan will add an exit ramp from the GSP southbound at Interchange 83. The new exit ramp will begin at the existing Interchange 83 toll plaza and terminate at a new signalized “T” intersection at CR 571. In order to accommodate the additional traffic and to improve the operations of the intersection of US 9 and CR 571, improvements to the intersection are proposed. CR 571 will be widened east of the intersection to provide two through lanes in each direction and opposing dual left turn lanes.  West of the intersection, CR 571 will be restriped to provide the same lane configuration requiring minor roadway widening.





US Route 9 will be restriped to prohibit the left turns from US 9 northbound to CR 571 westbound. The left turn movement will be relocated to Lomell Lane. The existing median will be reconstructed and relocated to accommodate the proposed improvements. A dedicated right turn lane will be provided from US 9 southbound to CR 571 westbound. US 9 northbound will be widened north of the CR 571 intersection to provide a shoulder so that dual WB-62 trucks can simultaneously negotiate a left turn from CR 571 eastbound to Route 9.


Striping revisions and minor widening are proposed at the gore of US 9 southbound entrance ramp to the GSP southbound to reduce weaving and provide improved lane utilization. Striping modifications and minor roadway widening will also be required on Lomell Lane to accommodate the additional traffic volumes. 


Traffic signal timing adjustments will be required at the intersections of NJ 166 and Lomell Lane, Lomell Lane and the GSP northbound ramps, Lomell Lane and CR 571, and CR 571 and Green Drive.


In addition to the proposed exit ramp, the improvements on the Garden State Parkway will include extension of the existing barrier that separates the satellite toll plaza and the express EZ-Pass lanes. The barrier will be extended to preclude drivers from the express EZ-Pass lanes from using the exit ramp. The existing noise wall will be extended. Roadway lighting and ITS facilities will require relocation. 


All intersections will be improved to ensure that they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Pedestrian curb ramps and pedestrian push buttons will be added as required.


This expansive project has taken so long to come to fruition mainly because it is advancing through the NJTPA's Local Capital Project Delivery (LCPD) Program, which provides federal funding for major traffic improvements projects.


The first step of this program was the Local Concept Development where the Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA) was selected through an Alternatives Analysis study. This phase was completed in 2016.


In July 2020, the Ocean County Board of Commissioners awarded a contract for the preliminary engineering phase of the project.


During that phase, the PPA was refined, environmental studies were completed to secure FHWA approval of the environmental document, and right-of-way and construction cost estimates were developed.


That phase is now complete.


County officials have just now begun soliciting bids for the final engineering phase.


The Commissioners are expected to award a contract for this work in June. This phase is anticipated to be completedd in 2 years. Road construction will take another 2 years.


Improvements to Interchange 83 have been in the planning stages for many years.


A number of years ago, the interchange only provided connections to the GSP NB from Route 9/166 NB and SB and from the GSP NB to Route 9 NB.


Since then, the County completed construction of improvements at Interchange 83 which improved access to and from the GSP Northbound. These improvements included expansion of the interchange with the GSP northbound, construction of Lomell Lane connecting Route 9 with Indian Head Road (CR 571), new ramps and reconfiguration of existing ramps to provide connections to both Route 9/166 northbound and southbound and CR 571 northbound and southbound, three new traffic signals, and widening of CR 571 which provided a continuous 5-lane cross section between Route 9 and a point east of Lomell Lane.


The southbound exit is the only movement that is not currently provided at the interchange. With the addition of the new ramp, Exit 83 will become a full interchange.


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