NJDOT begins congestion relief pilot project on Rt. 1

Posted: Updated:
SOUTH BRUNSWICK -

The New Jersey Department of Transportation will begin its congestion relief pilot project on Monday on Route 1 in South Brunswick.

Often at a crawl rush hour, traffic is expected to move a bit faster with the new project. The strategy of using shoulders as temporary travel lanes during peak hours is known as “hard shoulder running,” which is widely used in Europe.

Signage has been installed along Route 1 and at each driveway, changing the yield signs to stop signs to let drivers know it's OK to drive on the shoulder for now.

Specifically, the project opens the shoulder to traffic from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. It's only about a 1.9 mile stretch in both directions from Independence Way to Raymond Road.

Trucks are not allowed to use the shoulder as a travel lane, just cars, and use of the shoulder is restricted at all other times.

“Hard shoulder running” has been used for several years in Trenton on Route 29 northbound as drivers approach Route 129.

The Route 1 pilot project in South Brunswick is expected to last for the next six months. NJDOT officials said it may be adjusted depending on the operational and safety data gathered during the program. If it's successful, NJDOT will consider making it a permanent improvement. 

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