EATONTOWN: The upcoming Garden State Parkway Exit 105 improvement project is underway and residents will begin seeing some traffic concerns in the next few weeks.
“Right now all the work for the next two months is really offline, it’s off Hope Road, it’s off the Parkway as they build the connector roads,” Borough Engineer David Marks said at the May 14 Eatontown Council meeting. “They did forecast probably about mid-July for doing some drainage work which is going to shut down Hope Road at night for a period of a couple of weeks. It will be reopened for the morning rush hour traffic, but at night they are going to do a full shutdown with detours.”
The main improvement at the Hope Road intersection will include a new ramp from the Parkway North exit that would run between the Double Tree Hilton and the park and ride, and empty out onto Hope Road. Hope Road also will be widened north and south of Route 36, with new traffic signals installed.
This will let drivers headed toward Hope Road avoid the Route 36 bottleneck that exists now from cars exiting the Parkway and turning right onto Hope Road or taking the jughandle to go on Hope Road north.
Cars headed to Hope Road north will also take this new ramp south of Route 36 and then make a left onto Hope Road at the new light and proceed to cross over Route 36, without having to bother with the jug handle.
From this same area south of Route 36, there will also be a new lane that would take drivers headed toward the Monmouth Mall from Hope Road in Tinton Falls, through the woods and onto Route 36 east, completely avoiding the now-congested intersection of Hope Road and Route 36.
The existing ramps from the Parkway South will also be widened and the jughandle will remain.
Marks said he and the borough’s traffic safety officer Chris Bartlett have been discussing the project and that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which is overseeing the project, will work with the borough to develop detours during times of major construction.
He said the connector roads are tied into Hope Road, workers will do one lane shutdown at a time to keep traffic moving.
“It’s going to be difficult at times, and what I would recommend is that you avoid the intersection to get around it,” Marks said. “They are going to work with the borough, at least that’s what they committed to at this point…to minimize the impacts associated with this project.”
The second phases of the project will include changes to Wayside Road, but that is not expected to happen for some time. It will include the construction of a new southbound connection to Wayside Road and the construction of a second northbound deceleration lane.
New Jersey Turnpike Authority officials have said this will be done improve access to Route 18 and will help ease congestion at the Hope Road/Route 36 intersection.
When the new ramp reaches Wayside Road, a traffic light will be placed at the intersection and motorists will be able to make a left or right turn.