2012-07-31 / Front Page

State plans Route 18 improvements for 2015

Project would improve pavement, correct drainage problems from Rues to Tpke.
BY ADAM JOSEPH DRICI
Staff Writer

The East Brunswick Township Council heard a presentation from the state Department of Transportation on Monday and voted to support plans to resurface and improve drainage on Route 18.

Currently in the concept development stage, officials hope to have a final design for the project, which will run from Rues Lane to the New Jersey Turnpike, completed in early 2015, with construction to start soon after. The estimated time for construction is two years.

Anthony DiMaggio, a consulting engineer for the DOT, explained that two separate projects — one for pavement rehabilitation, another for drainage management to ease constant flooding — have been combined on Route 18 in order to reduce the amount of time the area would be affected by construction.

DiMaggio said the work will take place during overnight hours, between 10:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.

“We figured nighttime construction would be better for the businesses,” he said.

The four-mile stretch of Route 18 was originally designed for two lanes traveling in each direction. However, the shoulder was later striped for a third lane. Since that portion of the pavement was not designed for heavy use, DiMaggio said the outside lane will need to be reconstructed to meet the requirements of a 10-year road surface.

There will also be curb improvements and sidewalk replacements along Route 18, including NJ Transit bus stops.

During a later phase of the project, each intersection on the highway will receive upgraded traffic signals.

Regarding the drainage aspect of the project, engineers are focusing on problem areas including Route 18’s intersections with Arthur Street and Milltown Road. Existing metal drainage pipes will be replaced with concrete ones of larger diameter.

New retention basins have also been designed at Milltown Road, which will regulate the flow of storm water downstream. “The importance with the drainage cannot be overlooked,” Mayor David Stahl said.

He added that the township’s staff engineers have been working with the DOT, and according to their analysis, there will be no extra water affecting residences downstream. Township Council President Michael Hughes said he was glad that the DOT was able to combine the two projects and will be resolving both the roadway and drainage issues at the same time.

DiMaggio said the DOT will soon begin work on improvements to the New Jersey Turnpike. The Route 18 project will begin once the Turnpike work is completed.

Contact Adam Joseph Drici at adrici@gmnews.com.

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