The Route 1 congestion relief pilot project that uses the shoulder as a travel lane during peak morning and evening commuting times in South Brunswick has been expanded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The project, which began in late June and allows cars to use the shoulder as a travel lane Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Route 1 northbound and southbound from Independence Way to Raymond Road, has been extended a half mile southbound between Promenade Boulevard and Raymond Road. Trucks may not use the shoulder as a travel lane. Use of the shoulder will be restricted at all other times.
Route 1 is three lanes before and after this section of the highway, causing a bottleneck and delays where the three lanes merge to two lanes. The goal of using the shoulder as a travel lane during peak periods is to keep traffic flowing, reduce congestion, and improve safety, officials said.
Officials said initial data indicates the project has been successful, as a growing number of drivers use the shoulder as a travel lane during the morning and evening commute. There has been a reduction of congestion as average speeds through the project corridor have increased in both directions, officials said.
New Jersey Department of Transportation officials will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of this project, which was designed to last six months. This may be adjusted depending on the operational and safety data gathered during the pilot program. If the project continues to be successful, officials will consider making this a permanent improvement.