MORRISTOWN, NJ - Morris County engineering officials are working on steps to ease current traffic backups through Randolph caused by the ongoing Sussex Turnpike improvement project, and two simultaneous municipal utility projects in the Sussex Turnpike corridor, according to the county freeholders, who have asked for the public’s patience.  

Among some of the recent or pending changes:

•             The timing of a new traffic signal at the new Sussex Turnpike and West Hanover Avenue intersection is being tweaked, with the aid of a video detection camera, to offer the best possible traffic flow;

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•             Utility poles soon will be removed to allow for the creation of turning lanes at that intersection;

•             West Hanover Avenue approaching Sussex Turnpike will be re-striped to one left/through lane and one right turn lane, and a right turn arrow signal will be installed;    

•             Two Randolph municipal utility projects – a sewer line project and a water main project -- that require road closings and detours that have impact daytime traffic flow on Sussex Turnpike will be changed to night-time work hours, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.;  

But even with gradual traffic flow improvements anticipated due to these and other changes, county officials are asking for the public’s patience this summer during the height of work on the nearly $5 million project on busy Sussex Turnpike, which is a key motoring artery through central Morris County.

“We know this is an inconvenience for county residents, including many people who use Sussex Turnpike to commute to and from work or are driving to the county seat in Morristown,’’ said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo. “We have asked out engineering team to do everything they can to reduce delays. But please remember, this is a major construction project on a very busy roadway, so we ask for your patience,’’ she added.     

 “We are aware of the calls and emails coming into county offices about this project,” added Freeholder John Cesaro, the board’s liaison on road projects. “We are doing this project in the summer, during the lightest traffic season, and hope to have it completed by the end of August.’’  

The long-awaited $4.7 million Sussex Turnpike intersection improvement project is designed to enhance safety and traffic flow on the busy road that runs through Randolph, and serves as a commuter route to and from Morristown, the County College of Morris and Route 10 in Roxbury. 

The Freeholders last year unanimously award a $4 million contract to the low bidder, Concrete Construction Corp. of Hackensack for construction; $497,328 to low bidder Greenman-Pedersen Inc. of Lebanon for construction inspection services; and $165,872 to low bidder T.Y. Lin International of Hackettstown for construction support services.

The federal government will pay more than $4.5 million for the work, with Morris County’s share to be $122,600 to finance police traffic costs, liability insurance and the relocation of a fire hydrant.

Sussex Turnpike has been under design for safety and capacity improvements by the New Jersey Department of Transportation since the 1970’s. More recently, the state DOT project was transferred to Morris County for completion.

The following improvements are taking place with the Sussex Turnpike Improvement Project:

•             The intersection of Sussex Turnpike and Dover-Chester Road will be widened to accommodate left turn lanes on all approaches. A new traffic signal will be installed. Pedestrian ramps that can accommodate persons with disabilities will be installed.

•             At the intersection of Sussex Turnpike and Calais Road, Sussex Turnpike will be widened to allow for installation of a westbound left turn lane into Calais Road. Calais Road will be realigned to form a 90 degree intersection with Sussex Turnpike. Underground signal equipment will be installed for a potential future traffic signal.

•             The section of Sussex Turnpike between Harvey Terrace and West Hanover Avenue will be widened to accommodate left turn lanes at intersections.

•             The traffic signal at Sussex Turnpike and Millbrook Avenue will be replaced and pedestrian ramps that can accommodate persons with disabilities will be installed.

•             West Hanover Avenue will be realigned to intersect Sussex Turnpike directly across from Brookside Road. Approximately 800 feet of West Hanover Avenue will be relocated to install this improvement.

•             A new traffic signal will be installed at the West Hanover Avenue, Brookside Road and Sussex Turnpike interconnection. Pedestrian ramps that can accommodate persons with disabilities will be installed.

•             The existing drainage system along Sussex Avenue will be modified.  A new detention basin will be constructed where West Hanover Avenue now intersects with Sussex Turnpike.

For view a map of the project, please visit: http://morrisdot.org/projects/sussextpke.asp