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New Gretna Toll Plaza Improvements

Upgrades deliver advanced technology to improve travel along New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway.
  • Aerial rendering of New Gretna Toll Plaza showing new express lanes - Gannett Fleming.

    New express lanes will improve traffic flow at the New Gretna Toll Plaza, shown in a rendering.

Client
New Jersey Turnpike Authority

Location
Bass River Township, New Jersey

Our Role
Design.

Data
Size
0.6 mile
Construction Cost
$7 million
Completed
In progress
Type
New Construction, Rehabilitation, Renovation
Outcomes
  • Improved traffic flow through Garden State Parkway toll plaza
  • E-ZPass service, consistent with other parkway toll facilities
  • Accommodation for heavy traffic during coastal evacuations

The New Gretna Toll Plaza is one of the few remaining southern toll plazas serving the 172-mile Garden State Parkway that does not offer motorists an Express E-ZPass option. The existing seven-lane toll plaza is a one-way facility that spans the northbound roadway. To provide operations that are consistent with other plazas along the parkway, improve traffic flow through the plaza, and better accommodate heavy traffic during coastal evacuations, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) is improving the plaza by adding two express lanes.

Gannett Fleming provided final design for upgrades that include the Express E-ZPass system. The improvements consist of accommodating two new high-speed express lanes, eliminating three traditional toll-booth lanes, installing a new toll gantry, and adding four overhead sign structures, a new control systems and equipment shelter, highway lighting, and stormwater/drainage improvements. Construction of the upgraded plaza is expected be complete in 2020.

What We Did

Our firm designed the physical implementation of the northbound E-ZPass toll collection devices and related cabling. A variable-message sign (VMS) panel installed near the plaza entrance provides operational information to travelers. A shelter was designed to accommodate the new intelligent traffic system (ITS) and electronic toll collection (ETC) equipment. Additionally, a traffic monitoring system integrated with the NJTA’s roadwide traffic data collection system was installed in the southbound travel lanes. The system features nine in-pavement sensors and a wireless access point mounted on a space-frame canopy to facilitate efficient vehicle classification and traffic data collection.

The scope of our work included evaluating alternatives, modeling traffic, and coordinating design of the improvements with NJTA’s engineering, tolls, operations, maintenance, and ITS departments. The team managed the permitting process, obtaining approvals from all relevant regulatory agencies, including the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and New Jersey Historic Preservation Office, enabling construction to proceed as planned.

Key Features

  • Express lanes enhance traveler convenience and reduce congestion through plaza.
  • Traffic monitoring system facilitates accurate vehicle recognition.
  • VMS panel provides up-to-date operational information for travelers.

Similar Projects: Engineering, Transportation: Operations, ITS & Traffic, Operations, ITS & Traffic: Tolling & Managed Lanes, Transportation, Engineering: Transportation