After being postponed last winter, the 12-week pilot program to close the left-hand jughandle turns off Route 1 north at Washington Road and Harrison Street in West Windsor will begin either Monday July 30 or Monday August 6. NJDOT will use construction barrels and other obstructions to prevent northbound drivers from making left or u-turns off Route 1 and onto Washington or Harrison.
The pilot is NJDOT’s attempt to reduce congestion along Route 1 north through Lawrenceville, West Windsor, Plainsboro. NJDOT will monitor traffic on that section of Route 1 as well as other nearby roads to see if traffic is relieved during the pilot; results will be presented to the public at the end of the trial period, and if it is deemed successful, the state plans to close the jughandles permanently.
When the pilot begins, drivers may no longer turn left from Route 1 north onto Harrison or Washington. Instead, drivers will be directed north to Scudder’s Mill Road and onto Route 1 south.
The jughandle closure plans were discussed at a transportation forum last week hosted by the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce; Greater Mercer TMA’s Executive Director Cheryl Kastrenakes moderated the panel. At the meeting, panelists expressed concern about the potential of increasing traffic on other local roads, but all agreed that the traffic congestion on Route 1 is a problem that must be dealt with in some way.