A two-mile stretch of a major roadway in Central Jersey, where drivers are allowed to use the shoulder of the roadway as a third travel lane during the morning and afternoon rush, is getting a high-tech makeover.

Back in 2017, the shoulder of Route 1 was opened to traffic between Forrestal Road and College Road in Middlesex County in the early morning and afternoon hours to help ease congestion.

Portable cameras and signs were used to alert driver of when the shoulder was available to be used as a travel lane. But Steve Schapiro, deputy director of communications for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, said now that this is being adopted permanently, Intelligent Transportations Systems technology is being installed. He said the $4.8 million project is being done with federal funds.

He said the decision was made to permanently use the shoulder of the designated stretch of Route 1 as a travel lane during the busiest hours of the day because “we found we were able to have traffic flow more smoothly through that area and also it makes the road safer.”

He said during the mid day hours for the next several months, the shoulder in that area will be closed so crews can install lane control signals. A green arrow will indicate an available lane while a red X will let drivers know it's closed.

He said DOT work crews will be installing 13 of those signals along with permanent cameras.

As the work continues, the shoulder of the roadway will be closed from mid morning till mid afternoon during the week.The work is expected to be complete by spring.

The shoulder will continue to be maintained as a travel lane between 6 and 9 a.m. and 4 and 7 p.m. Construction work will happen between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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