Reconstruction of New Jersey Route 18 Project Named Among Best Transportation Projects in the Northeast
June 30, 2011
(Harrisburg, Pa.) The Reconstruction of New Jersey Route 18 project in New Brunswick, N.J., has been chosen as one of the recipients of America’s Transportation Awards, which took place at the annual meeting of the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials. Eight transportation projects from seven northeastern states were recognized for reducing congestion, stimulating economic development, improving multimodal connections, reconnecting communities, and making commuting safer.
The Route 18 project received an award in the on-time category for large projects. The awards were presented during the annual meeting June 5-7 in Groton, Conn. The annual awards competition, which showcases work completed by the state departments of transportation, is sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Gannett Fleming served as the lead designer and engineer-of-record for this project, which was hailed as “masterful engineering” that transformed a congested, failing roadway serving more than 85,000 motorists daily to an efficient regional thoroughfare and City of New Brunswick access corridor.
At its groundbreaking, this complex $215 million project was the largest ever undertaken by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. For more than 10 years, public consensus could not be reached for any Route 18 safety or operational improvements. An intensive Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) approach included extensive public outreach efforts leading to a plan of action with stakeholder-approved elements in the final design and construction of the project.
The project’s marquee feature is the George Street Bridge, one of the largest structures of its kind in North America and the first in the world to combine precast concrete arches with a light-weight cellular concrete overfill. The team’s following of an innovative Complete Streets approach has reconnected the city of New Brunswick with its beloved waterfront with more than five miles of multi-use paths and sidewalks, the newly expanded Boyd Park, a new community boat ramp, a playground area, and a picnic pavilion.
Other notable elements included the design and construction of 22 retaining walls, seven noise barriers, 16 sign structures, and improvements to nine signalized intersections. An embankment fill section needed to support the adjacent highway serves as an innovative performing arts amphitheatre and has become a community jewel and model for environmental stewardship.
The Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials brings together representatives from the state transportation departments of the northeastern U.S. and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The group works to advance transportation policies and practices beneficial to the Northeast Region of the U.S. and the Eastern Provinces of Canada and to serve as a focal point for discussion and research on transportation issues of interest to its members.
For more information, please contact John Mullan at (908) 755-0040, ext. 3030 or via e-mail.