In the lore of Brick’s Facebook groups and neighbor-to-neighbor chatter, few local news items are discussed more frequently – and frustratingly – as the Garden State Parkway Interchange 91 project.
The county-led project, with state funding, stalled last summer when political infighting over a gas tax hike resulted in the stoppage of nearly all transportation projects statewide, delaying the interchange development work for months. Initially, state and county officials expected the job to be completed in February. In the mean time, the physical condition of the roads in and around the work zone have deteriorated into a morass of pot holes, stones and unevenly-laid remnants of what used to be pavement.
Mayor John Ducey said he last held discussions with Ocean County officials on the status of the project two weeks ago. At that point, they promised the interchange itself – entrances and exits to both the northbound and southbound lanes of the Parkway – would be open by Memorial Day weekend.
“They’re still going to have to do to some of the plantings and paving, but the entrances and exits will be open,” said Ducey.
The project, now 11 years in the making, will include numerous new entrance and exit ramps. Changes include:
- A new northbound entrance ramp from Burnt Tavern Road and Lanes Mill Road, with access to the park-and-ride lot on the east side of the Parkway.
- A second northbound entrance ramp for vehicles traveling eastbound on Burnt Tavern Road. This ramp will allow access from Burrsville Road. The single existing northbound ramp will be eliminated.
- New northbound exit and entrance ramps linking the Parkway and Burrsville Road.
- A new southbound entrance ramp for traffic heading west on Burnt Tavern Road.
- A second southbound entrance ramp linking Lanes Mill Road with the Parkway. Herborn Avenue will be extended south and east to Lanes Mill Road, where it will meet the new entrance ramp and a signaled intersection.
A new system of traffic lights will be timed to make traffic flow more quickly through the oft-congested area in the northern portion of the township, county officials have promised.
The county awarded a $21,319,770 contract for the project in August 2014. The exit will be known as the “Herbertsville” exit, a nod to the section of town that can be accessed closest to the interchange.