Highway Reconstruction Causes Confusion

New Jersey drivers using I-95 and I-295 will experience some changes in the coming months as part of I-95 receives new designation. As part of a plan to connect I-95 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276) in Bristol, Pennsylvania, the part of I-95 that runs through Mercer County, from the Scudder Falls Bridge over the Delaware River to the Route 1 exit, will become part of I-295.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) announced that the changes will allow I-95 to connect to the New Jersey Turnpike, resulting in I-95 becoming one continuous highway from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Currently, there is a gap on I-95 between Philadelphia and New York City. It ends in New Jersey at Route 1 in Lawrenceville and resumes at interchange 7A of the New Jersey Turnpike. Completion of the new I-95 Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange is scheduled for this summer.

Implementing Change

The re-designation of roadways will happen slowly over several months as exit numbers and highway signs are changed. The project is expected to cost about $1.2 million. A Department of Transportation spokesman stated that the change will lessen confusion because there will be one continuous designation of I-295 for the location where I-295 currently leads into I-95 at Route 1.

However, because I-295 is not a complete circle, it could be without north to south signage. This means that now motorists traveling north on 95 in Pennsylvania will suddenly find themselves on I-295 East, which changes again to I-295 South once it crosses into New Jersey. Anyone heading south to Philadelphia from the new stretch of I-295 will go north past Route 1, over the Delaware River where the designation becomes I-295 West, and then continue on until I-95 South.

The first phase of sign changes, which is currently underway, start at I-95 interchange 8/Princeton Pike and move westward. The second phase will happen from March to April, as signs on both sides of the Delaware River are replaced. From April to August, phase three will be implemented for the remaining interchanges up to the new interchange in Bristol, PA.

Dangers to Motorists

Although NJDOT describes the changes as simplifying matters, situations like driving north to go south could increase confusion for motorists and lead to car accidents as people get used to the new signs and exit numbers. Often, when construction projects alter road patterns and exits, navigation systems do not adapt quickly to the changes, leaving travelers lost and confused when driving through unfamiliar areas. Directions emanating from a navigation system that do not correspond to the new signage may lead to distracted driving accidents as motorists try to confirm that they are indeed headed the right way when signage appears to indicate otherwise.

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If you have been injured in a car accident that you believe was due to another person’s negligence or poor roadway design, the experienced New Brunswick car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can help you recover compensation. For a free consultation about your case, call us at 877-249-4600 or contact us online. Our offices are located in Highland Park, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout the state, in Middlesex County, including the communities of Highland Park, Somerset, New Brunswick, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia, New Jersey.