By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
Interstate 95 in Mercer County is being “re-designated” in a step requiring New Jersey to spend around $1.2 million to install new road signs reflecting the change to I-295, the Christie administration said last week.
Seven interchanges in New Jersey will be renumbered — the old exit numbers will be displayed temporarily — and new mile markers will be installed, the state Department of Transportation said.
Due to the name change and construction of a new interchange, officials said seven New Jersey interchanges and four Pennsylvania interchanges will get new exit numbers. Additionally, four exits on I-195 in Hamilton will be renumbered to match existing mileposts.
“It’s everything from mile markers because as the road becomes 295, the mile markers will have to match up with the 295 mile markers,” DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro said Friday.
The I-95 exits for Princeton Pike (exit 8), Route 206 (exit 7), Federal City Road (exit 5), Route 31 (exit 4), Scotch Road (exit 3), Route 579 (exit 2) and Route 29 (exit 1) on the affected section of I-95 will become exits 68, 69, 71, 72, 73, 75 and 76 on I-295, respectively.
Affected Pennsylvania exits on I-95 for Taylorsville Road (exit 51), Route 332 (exit 49), Route 1 (exit 46) and Route 1 Business (exit 44) will be known as exits 10, 8, 5 and 3 on the new section of I-295, respectively.
The current I-195 exits for I-295 southbound (exit 60A), I-295 northbound (exit 60B), Route 206 southbound (1A) and Route 206 northbound (1B) will be changed to 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D, respectively.
Work is scheduled to move in three phases beginning in January and ending in August, the state said. GPS companies also have been notified, Schapiro said.
The first phase of the project will be the of replacing signs in New Jersey and is scheduled to take place between January 2018 and March 2018, starting with existing I-95 Interchange 8/Princeton Pike and moving west toward the Delaware River.
The second phase, which will start in the spring 2018, will replace signs on both sides of the Delaware River within the Scudders Fall Bridge project limits (former I-95 Exit 1 in New Jersey and Exits 51 and 49 in Pennsylvania), while the third phase will replace signs at the remaining interchanges in Pennsylvania through the new interchange in Bristol. The final phase will begin in late spring 2018.
The changes affect a stretch of I-95 north of Philadelphia; parts of the highway in Pennsylvania also are being renamed I-295. The changes, mandated by Congress, come as a new interchange is being built in Bristol, Pennsylvania, and will connect I-95 with the I-276/Pennsylvania Turnpike, which then links up with the New Jersey Turnpike at exit 6 through an extension road.
“When this new interchange is completed in Bristol, these highways will be re-designated as I-95, which will create a continuous I-95 through New Jersey,” according to a document the New Jersey DOT provided.
Interstate 95 is a major highway along the East Coast — connecting Maine to Florida — although there is a “gap” in it in New Jersey, where I-95 breaks up at exit 7A on the New Jersey Turnpike. Interstate 295 turns into I-95 at the Route One interchange in Lawrence.
“Anything that can add clarity for motorists traveling through our region is welcome,” Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said Friday.
Statistics from the DOT paint a picture of how many vehicles are on that Mercer County stretch of I-95, in both directions, on a typical day.
“The average daily traffic volume on I-95 between the Scudder Falls Bridge and exit eight/Princeton Pike ranges from 55,000 vehicles a day near the bridge to 89,000 vehicles a day near exit seven/Route 206,” Schapiro said.
By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer