A primary purpose of the Garden State Parkway Interchange 145 Improvements Project is to increase capacity for vehicles exiting and entering the roadway at Exit 145. The construction work will ultimately increase the exit from one lane to two exit lanes. Similarly, the southbound entrance ramp will increase from one lane to two entrance lanes. These primary improvements necessitate significant bridge, utility and local road construction to achieve the Project requirements. These improvements will have the added benefit of decreasing vehicle congestion through this densely populated area of the Garden State Parkway. The scheduled completion of northbound exit lanes is Fall 2021 and the southbound entrance lanes is Summer 2022. The overall Project will be completed by Fall 2022.
As part of the environmental impact statement that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority prepared for this project, they performed a noise wall study and analysis. That analysis was performed to determine whether the need for a noise wall was warranted in accordance with the criteria established and universally applied by the Authority on all their projects. The result of that analysis was that noise walls associated with this project were not warranted and therefore no noise wall was designed or included in this project.
The Authority, in response to the community, has agreed to provide the noise wall study and analysis to the City of East Orange for their review.
AECOM and George Harms Construction will be working with the City of East Orange to determine the need for police protection at each of the project work zones. Police assistance is typically used while a work crew is operating at a specific work zone. This coordination effort with the City of East Orange has already been established and continues with all scheduled work.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has contracted AECOM to provide construction inspection services for the construction work performed by George Harms Construction. Those services include inspecting the work to make sure that it is performed in accordance with the construction contract plans and specifications.
The project includes both new traffic signals and street lighting improvements in accordance with the established construction plans.
Temporary detours will be required in order to complete some of the contract work. All detours required for the work on the project will have both advance warning signs and route signs that will direct traffic along the various detour route. In addition, prior to the implementation of each detour, advance notice will be provided to the City of East Orange, published on the project website and sent via text messages and email alerts to all residents that signed up to receive project notices.
Where necessary, police assistance will be provided to assist in the implementation of these detours.
George Harms Construction is required to perform this work in compliance with established noise and air quality standards. AECOM will monitor the contractor’s work for compliance with those requirements.
When the contractor is performing work operations with known asbestos components, the contractor will be required to perform those operations in conformance with the established protocols to safeguard the public, their work force, Turnpike employees and the AECOM inspection staff.
Project work began in June 2018 and is scheduled to take 4 years and be completed by the fall of 2022.
Central Avenue will remain open throughout the duration of the project, however during construction, the available travel lanes will be reduced from two (2) lanes and turning lanes in each direction to two (2) lanes westbound on Central Avenue and one (1) lane eastbound.
George Harms Construction was selected to perform this work through the Authority’s contract procurement process. That process was a competitive bid process and George Harms Construction was awarded the contract since their proposed cost for the project was lowest cost among qualified contractors that submitted bids.
The traffic pattern on Central Avenue will return to its existing configuration with dedicated left turn lanes.
The exit ramp from the southbound Garden State Parkway to Oraton Parkway and into Interchange 145 will be restored.
The traffic pattern on the entrance ramp from Interchange 145 to the southbound Garden State Parkway will increase to two (2) lanes that will merge into the southbound main line.
The northbound Garden State Parkway exit ramp to Interchange 145 will increase to two (2) lanes.
The northbound Garden State Parkway tolls and toll booths at Interchange 145 will be removed and the exit toll eliminated.
The temporary exit ramp from the southbound Garden State Parkway to Central Avenue will be used to detour vehicles wanting to head eastbound on Central Avenue toward Newark traffic. Those vehicles that want to head westbound will be able to continue to Central Avenue and make the right turn onto Central Avenue.
The Authority’s contract with George Harms Construction has set a goal of 25% for small business participation (SBE) in the contract work.
The new retaining walls will be made from reinforced concrete.
The new traffic signals will be installed at the exiting signalized intersections including Central Avenue, Freeway Drive, New Street and Williams Street.
The traffic heading toward I-280 East (or west) will still be able to exit at Interchange 145 and travel to downtown Newark.
Under this construction contract there are no improvements planned for the Interchange 147 exit. However, the Authority indicated that, based on the concern raised at the July 24th Community forum, they would reviewauthor the traffic at that exit.