Ceremony Marks End Of New Jersey Turnpike Widening Project

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Officials have marked the end of a $2.3 billion project to widen the New Jersey Turnpike.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Friday at the Molly Pitcher service area in Cranbury Township.

Work began to expand the number of lanes from six to 12 between Interchange 6, in Burlington County, and Interchange 9, in New Brunswick, in June 2009. The project’s goal is to ease the chronic traffic bottlenecks that occur near Interchange 8A, where the car and truck lanes merge.

“Doubling the roadway capacity we expect is going to greatly reduce the number of delays,” said Tom Feeney, Turnpike Authority spokesman. “It’s the largest capacity expansion in the history of the New Jersey Turnpike.”

The northbound lanes were expected to open Saturday. But rain has delayed last-minute work and the lanes will open Sunday instead. The southbound lanes will open next weekend.

“I was so excited. I spent so much time on this road,” Senate President Stephen Sweeney said. “Their commutes are going to be better, they’re going to get an hour of their life back.”

The project came in $200 million below budget, officials said.

That extra cash with goo toward the Garden State Parkway widening down the shore, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported.

A past toll hike paid for the widening, Feeney said.

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