Adjacent to Rutger's University, a new state Route 18 overpass enables access to the Raritan River.
New Brunswick, New Jersey United States
New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT)
Triple Bottom Line
Economic: The Route 18 project enhanced the landscape of New Brunswick, is a successful example of Smart Growth initiatives, and served as a catalyst for urban renewal. From the onset of the final scope development phase, a Context Sensitive Design (CSD) approach was initiated to define a collaborative final design solution that met transportation needs, environmental values, and community values.
Environmental: Through a steering committee comprised of NJDOT, FHWA and Gannett Fleming Inc. a community involvement action plan was developed that centered on the formation of a Community Partnering Team (CPT). This CPT was formed in 1999 and continued throughout the duration of the project as a unique mechanism to obtain broad-based public participation and to provide information to stakeholders and community representatives. The goals and objective of the CPT were to: • mitigate impacts of the highway extension by interpreting cultural elements and environmental factors of the setting • develop guidelines to create aesthetically pleasing roadway features and sense of welcoming to New Brunswick • maintain and enhance existing linkages, both pedestrian and vehicular throughout the city, as well as views to and from the waterfront. The intensive CSD approach included regular community partnering meetings and public outreach efforts. Considerations were undertaken by the committee for various aspects such as earthen berms, expanded bicycle/pedestrian paths, a promenade, a river/park outlook, architectural treatments on structures and walls, and landscape treatments. An innovative solution to temporary traffic control was developed in lieu of a temporary traffic signal by introducing improved operational characteristics and a roundabout that was implemented as a permanent solution.
Social: Although this project directly targeted infrastructure improvements, the enhancement to parkland space improved the quality of life for visitors and residents. Boyd Park is a city facility that, prior to this project, was underutilized and difficult to access. The design of multi-use pathways and pedestrian bridges has reconnected Boyd Park with the city. A newly constructed promenade and performing arts amphitheater, significant park expansion, waterfront bulkhead rehabilitation, and new community boat ramp enhanced the community's access to recreational opportunities within Boyd Park and reconnected the city to its Raritan River waterfront.
Teresa L. Peterson, P.E., C.M.E., LEED Green Associate, Project Manager
Gannett Fleming, Inc.