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Route 18 is a 42.8-mile-long (68.9 km) state highway in the US state of New Jersey. It begins at an intersection with Route 138 in Wall Township and ends at Interstate 287 (I-287) in Piscataway. Much of the route is a limited-access freeway, including the entire portion in Monmouth County and much of the northern end through New Brunswick and Piscataway. The remainder of the route is a multi-lane divided highway. Route 18 was formerly designated as Route S28, a prefixed spur of State Highway Route 28 through Middlesex and Monmouth counties. The designation, assigned in the 1927 renumbering, remained until a second renumbering in 1953. At that point, Route 18 was designated onto the alignment.

Route 18 marker

Route 18
Route information
Maintained by NJDOT
Length42.77 mi[2][3] (68.83 km)
ExistedJanuary 1, 1953[1]–present
HistoryDesignated in 1927 as Route S28
Major junctions
South end Route 138 in Wall Township
North end I-287 in Piscataway
CountiesMonmouth, Middlesex
Highway system
Route 17Route 18N

The route originally ended at Route 27 at the border between Highland Park and New Brunswick, but was extended northward to then-County Route 514 Spur (CR 514 Spur), now CR 622, in 1983. The freeway through New Brunswick was constructed during the 1980s over the Delaware and Raritan Canal. Route 18 was further extended to Hoes Lane in Piscataway in 2004 and presently ends at I-287 in Piscataway. The route south of exit 6A in Wall Township was also originally intended to extend to the Brielle Circle and terminate at Route 34, Route 35, and Route 70 but there are no plans to do so currently.


Route descriptionEdit

Monmouth CountyEdit

Route 18 northbound past the Route 79 interchange in Marlboro Township

Route 18 begins at a partial-cloverleaf interchange with New Jersey Route 138 in Wall Township. At the southern end of the interchange, the right-of-way and unused pavement for the southern extension is visible along with the former on-ramp from Route 138 to Route 18 northbound. The highway heads northward as a four-lane freeway, crossing under Route 138. Route 18 interchanges with Route 138 westbound and Monmouth Boulevard, a local road in New Bedford. Route 18 then crosses under Monmouth Boulevard and County Route 18 (Belmar Boulevard) in the community of Glendola. The route continues through Glendola, and interchanges with Brighton Avenue (southbound Interchanges 7A and 7B). The freeway continues south of the Shark River Golf Course, through Neptune, paralleling Brighton Avenue, and interchanges with Route 33 and County Route 17 at exit 8. Although signed as exit 8 northbound, the interchange is divided into exits 8A and 8B heading southbound. The roadway crosses into Ocean Township and crosses under County Route 17 (West Bangs Avenue). In Ocean Township, there are exits for Route 66 and Asbury Avenue, Deal Road, and West Park Avenue. Farther north, the highway enters Eatontown.[4]

A large interchange near the Naval Weapons Station Earle serves Industrial Way West, County Route 547 (Wyckoff Road), New Jersey Route 36, Hope Road, the Garden State Parkway, the Tinton Falls interchange (exit 105), and County Route 38 (Wayside Road). The route continues northwestward into Colts Neck. The freeway continues to the northwest through wooded land for several miles, crossing over Normandy Road and to the south of the Pebble Creek Golf Club. Exits along this stretch include New Jersey Route 34, County Route 537 (Colts Neck Road), New Jersey Route 79 (South Main Street), County Route 520, and County Route 3 (Tennent Road), which connects to Freehold Borough and Marlboro Township.[4]

Middlesex CountyEdit

Route 18 southbound at Rues Lane in East Brunswick

After entering Middlesex County, Route 18 continues north as a freeway, entering Old Bridge Township. After interchanging with U.S. Route 9 (exit 30), the freeway ends, and the route becomes an arterial highway through a mostly wooded commercial stretch of Old Bridge Township. The route crosses several roads in this area. It then passes under County Route 516 and County Route 527 (Old Bridge-Matawan Road), but has no northbound interchange to connect with them; motorists have to travel through a residential area to access these roads. On the southbound side, motorists can use a cloverleaf or Englishtown Road. Route 18 then enters East Brunswick, then interchanging with Middlesex County Route 615, which also connects to County Route 527.[4]

Route 18 then continues through the heavily developed commercial corridor of East Brunswick, intersecting with County Route 617 (Rues Lane) and passing near Brunswick Square Mall. After the interchanges with County Routes 535 (Cranbury Road) and County Route 606 (Milltown Road), Route 18 intersects West Ferris Street, West Prospect Street, Tices Lane, and then meets County Route 527 (the Old Bridge Turnpike) at Edgeboro Road. An intersection and partial interchange with Eggers Street and JFK Boulevard is followed by crossing over the New Jersey Turnpike at exit 9 of the turnpike. The road then intersects Tower Center Boulevard before crossing into New Brunswick at Lawrence Brook.[4]

View along Route 18 southbound at the intersection with Tabernacle Way in New Brunswick

The U.S. Route 1 interchange is followed by an intersection at Paulus Boulevard before separating into a local/express configuration and paralleling the Raritan River, passing the former New Brunswick city docks. Local exits include New Jersey Route 172 (the southern terminus of George Street), the Rutgers University boathouse and Elmer B. Boyd Park, Commercial Avenue, New Street, and New Jersey Route 27 (Albany Street), after which the express and local lanes merge back together and cross under the Raritan River Bridge carrying Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. The freeway continues with exits for George Street, Rutgers (for access to the College Avenue Campus) and Easton Avenue before exiting New Brunswick on the John A. Lynch, Sr. Memorial Bridge over the Raritan River.[4]

View south along Route 18 (Hoes Lane) in Piscataway

The highway then interchanges with County Route 622 (River Road), Campus Road (Rutgers' Busch Campus and stadium), Metlars Lane (Rutgers' Livingston Campus and Louis Brown Athletic Center), where the route curves to the west and becomes Hoes Lane, a surface arterial. As Hoes Lane, Route 18 passes Resurrection Cemetery of the Diocese of Metuchen, as well as the post office and township hall of the Township of Piscataway, before reaching an intersection with Centennial Avenue. Route 18 turns on Centennial Avenue and continues for about 0.35 miles (0.56 km) to a traffic signal for Possumtown Road. From this intersection, Route 18 is considered to exist both on Centennial Avenue and Possumtown Road, and ends in each case at the respective entrance ramps for I-287.

History and futureEdit

Designation and southern freeway constructionEdit


Route S28
Route S-28 stamp on the side of Route 18 over Westons Mill Pond

The alignment of Route 18 through Middlesex County from Middlesex to Highland Park was first designated in the 1926 designing of a new highway system as State Highway Route S-29, a prefixed spur of New Jersey Route 29 (U.S. Route 22) through Middlesex County. The route followed Washington Avenue in Middlesex and the River Road in Piscataway until terminating at State Highway Route 27 near the Albany Street Bridge in Highland Park.[7] By the time of the 1927 New Jersey state highway renumbering, the route was re-designated as State Highway Route S-28. This route was a prefixed spur of State Highway Route 28 in Middlesex, following Raritan Avenue and River Road through Piscataway and Highland Park, joining State Highway Route 27 on a concurrency into New Brunswick, and onto George Street in New Brunswick southward. After New Brunswick, Route S-28 continued southward through East Brunswick, Old Bridge and Browntown before terminating at State Highway Route 4 (U.S. Route 9) in Matawan.[6]

The route was originally designated as an east–west highway, whereas it is now signed north-south.[8] Although Route S-28 was used for the alignment for nearly three decades, the second state highway renumbering in 1953 eliminated the designation, and Route 18 was designated in place.[5]

Route 18's southern terminus at Route 138 in Wall Township

During the 1950s, as the New Jersey State Highway Department was drawing out plans for an extensive freeway system, freeways were proposed for Route 18 and nearby Route 35. Route 18's freeway was to begin in Eatontown and head westward to Old Bridge Township along the former alignment of State Highway Route 18 prior to the 1953 renumbering, while Route 35 was to be rerouted from its surface alignment and head northward from Seaside Heights to Long Branch on a new freeway. Both plans were endorsed by the Tri-State Transportation Committee in 1962, and the acquisition for the right-of-ways began almost immediately. The freeways combined were to cost $50 million (1962 USD) and be 30 miles (48 km) in total.[9] Both freeways were designed to handle 30,000–50,000 vehicles daily.[10]

The freeway was completed between Route 138 and Route 33 in 1967 and Route 33 and Deal Road in 1969. Following this, the Route 35 freeway was cancelled and it became the part of Route 18 south of Eatontown. In 1974, Route 18 was completed between just south of Normandy Road in Colts Neck and US 9. A small portion of the freeway between Obre Road and Normandy Road in Colts Neck was finished in 1977. Route 18 was built between Wayside Road and Obre Road in 1978. The final portion of the Route 18 between Deal Road and Wayside Road was finished in 1988.[11]

Freeway around New BrunswickEdit

Old 1960 photo of Route 18 sign on Route 27 through New Brunswick. Route 18 is no longer signed east–west

The proposals for a freeway bypassing New Brunswick began in 1962, when the New Jersey State Highway Department made plans to construct a new freeway from U.S. Route 1 through New Brunswick to U.S. Route 22 in Bound Brook. The price tag for construction was $44 million (about $364 million in 2018 dollars[12]) and was to head for 8.3 miles (13.4 km), accessing the Somerset Freeway, I-287 and Route 28 before terminating at US 22.[9] The extension to Bound Brook, however, was canceled in the 1970s because of tight funding.[13]

Construction of a new four-lane bridge across the Raritan River (now the John A. Lynch Memorial Bridge) began in the 1960s, but in 1970, when the environment impact laws came out, construction froze with only three massive piers standing out of the river. Outside of the bridge, there was significant controversy over the abandoned Delaware and Raritan Canal heading through New Brunswick. The new freeway was to supplant the former canal and its thirteenth lock in New Brunswick, abandoned in 1932.[14] The environmentalists and the historic preservationists opposed the freeway extension because of the fears of losing the canal, while companies like Johnson & Johnson supported the new highway for redeveloping New Brunswick.[15]

The Raritan River flooding Route 18 in New Brunswick in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in 2011

In 1977, the newly formed New Jersey Department of Transportation received a federal grant to construct the Route 18 Freeway from New Street in New Brunswick, across the Raritan and terminating at Middlesex County Route 514 Spur in Piscataway.[16] This 2.3-mile (3.7 km) portion was completed in 1983 at a cost of $40 million (about $101 million in 2018 dollars[12]), with a finished bridge and freeway through New Brunswick.[17]

In 2005, construction began on a revamped Route 18 freeway through New Brunswick. The rebuild includes local and express lanes from Route 172 (George Street) to the interchange with Route 27 (Albany Street). Conti Enterprises was hired for the project, which was announced complete in August 2009 at a ceremony by governor Jon S. Corzine and Stephen Dilts, the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[18] During the construction, the New Street interchange and bridge were demolished and replaced. The area of the Paulus Boulevard intersection was upgraded for accessibility, and a bus stop was installed, but the roadway southbound is still three lanes at the traffic light. In adjacent Elmer Boyd Park a new entranceway and amphitheatre were added.[19]

Extension through Piscataway and to BrielleEdit


End Route 18 signage along Centennial Avenue at Knightsbridge Road and the southbound I-287 on and off ramps
End Route 18 signage along Possumtown Road at the northbound I-287 on and off ramps
Two branches of Route 18 ending at I-287's exit 8

In 2001, the New Jersey Department of Transportation approved construction of extending the Route 18 Freeway northward from Middlesex County Route 622 (River Road, former CR 514 Spur) in Piscataway to a new arterial on the existing Hoes Lane in the Rutgers University campuses. Construction of this segment, designated as Section 2A, built a partial cloverleaf interchange to County Route 622, a trumpet interchange to Frelinghuysen Avenue (the access to Busch Campus) and a partial cloverleaf to County Route 609 (Metlars Lane) and Davidson Road. The state acquired 12 homes along the existing Metlars Lane and 30 acres (120,000 m2) of land from Rutgers to build the extension. The project cost the state $85 million (2004 USD).[20]

The Department of Transportation then planned the extension to Interstate 287 in Piscataway, by upgrading Hoes Lane's arterial boulevard and its 20 intersections to standards, eliminating and upgrading several traffic lights. At the intersection with Centennial Avenue, Route 18 will turn off Hoes and follow Centennial to Possumtown Road, where it will terminate at Interstate 287 exit 8.[21] On February 15, 2012, the New Jersey Department of Transportation broke ground on the project, which is to cost $28 million[22][23] and was completed in mid-2016. Although NJDOT's road inventory continues to show Route 18 as ending at Hoes Lane and Buckingham Drive in Piscataway,[2] Route 18 signage is complete along the entire route on Hoes Lane and Centennial Avenue to the terminus at Interstate 287, as well as on signs for exit 8 of I-287. At least one press release suggested that NJDOT considered Route 18 to extend to Interstate 287 as of April 2016.[24]

Route 35 northbound approaching the former Brielle Circle, which was to be the southern terminus of Route 18.


There has been scrutiny about the stub end at Exit 6A for Route 138 that was to be a part of an extension of the freeway for its final five miles (8 km) from Route 138 to the Brielle Circle. Some of the right-of-way that was acquired in the 1960s for the Route 35 freeway were transformed into a multi-use trail for bicycles and other vehicles to link the Wall Township Municipal Complex to the existing Edgar Felix Bikeway that runs from Manasquan to Allaire State Park.[25] In 2001, the Brielle Circle was replaced with a new four-approach interchange between Route 35, Route 34 and Route 70, but the project included no hint of the Route 18 Extension.[26] NJDOT is in planning to create a Park & Ride at the southern terminus of the Route 18 freeway. It will be placed along the four lane right of way just south of Route 138. Residents are in opposition to this proposal for fear of loitering and vandalism that may accompany the parking lot.[27]

New exit ramp in Old Bridge TownshipEdit

Construction was slated for the interchange with County Routes 516 and 527 in Old Bridge Township as there is no way to access either of them without driving through a residential area off Route 18. The traffic flow along CR 516 (Old Bridge Township into Matawan) and 527 (Old Bridge Township into Englishtown/Manalapan Township) has increased significantly in the past ten years which called for the exit ramp off Route 18. The Old Bridge improvements include adding inside shoulders and widening County Routes 516 and 527. A signalized ramp is to be added for access to County Routes 516 and 527. Subsequently, County Route 516's intersection with Old Matawan Road is to be relocated. The project would cost over $28 million and was slated to begin in 2009 and to end in 2010. As of the end of 2009 the large project was put on hold because of the lack of funds and the economic situation. Demolition was completed in 2009 on Marlboro Road, taking down several residential houses and along Old Matawan Road and CR 516 and taking down an old gas station in preparing for the project. There is no new date released by NJDOT in when construction will begin.[28]

Major intersectionsEdit

MonmouthWall5.148.276A  Route 138 east – Belmar
5.148.276B     Route 138 west to Route 34 / I-195 / G.S. Parkway – Point PleasantIncludes a northbound exit that serves as a U-turn for traffic on Route 138 eastbound
5.729.216CMonmouth BoulevardNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
6.8210.987Brighton Avenue / Marconi Road – Shark River Hills, GlendolaSigned as exits 7A (east) and 7B (west) southbound
Neptune Township8.2813.338  Route 33 – Neptune, Freehold BoroughSigned as exits 8A (east) and 8B (west) southbound
9.8415.8410  Route 66 – Asbury Park, Freehold BoroughSigned as exits 10A (east) and 10B (west)
Ocean Township11.3718.3011Deal Road – WaysideNorthbound exit and southbound entrance; signed as exits 11A (east) and 11B (west)
12.0719.4212West Park Avenue – Oakhurst, WaysideSouthbound exit and northbound entrance; signed as exits 12A (east) and 12B (west)
Eatontown13.4621.6613A   CR 547 south to G.S. Parkway – WaysideNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
13.8222.2413B  Route 36 east – Eatontown, Long Branch
Tinton Falls13.9222.4013AHope Road (CR 51)No northbound exit
14.4023.1715A  G.S. Parkway southSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
14.5123.35Wayside Road north (CR 38 north)
14.5123.3515BWayside Road south (CR 38 south)Southbound exit only
Colts Neck19.0230.6119  Route 34 – Matawan, Point PleasantSigned as exits 19A (north) and 19B (south)
22.3135.9022  CR 537 – Colts Neck, FreeholdSigned as exits 22A (east) and 22B (west)
Marlboro25.2040.5625  Route 79 – Matawan, Freehold TownshipSigned as exits 25A (north) and 25B (south)
28.6046.03Tennent Road north – MorganvilleSouthbound exit only; no exit number prescribed
28.8046.3529  CR 520 (CR 3) – Morganville, Red Bank, Tennent
MiddlesexOld Bridge30.3548.8430  US 9 north – The Amboys, New YorkNorthbound exit and entrance
  US 9 south – FreeholdSouthbound exit and entrance
Northern end of freeway section
34.4155.38   CR 516 east / CR 527 south – Matawan, EnglishtownInterchange; southern end of CR 527 concurrency; southbound exit and northbound entrance
East Brunswick34.9056.17   CR 527 north / CR 615 (Main Street) – The Amboys, SpotswoodInterchange; northern end of CR 527 concurrency
36.9559.47Spotswood (CR 613)Interchange; no northbound exit
37.1459.77  CR 535 (Cranbury Road) – South River, CranburyInterchange
37.3360.08Milltown Road (CR 606) – South River, MilltownInterchange
38.8962.59  CR 527 south (Old Bridge Turnpike) / Edgeboro Road – South RiverSouthern end of CR 527 concurrency
39.5563.65Kennedy BoulevardInterchange
39.9464.28   I-95 / N.J. Turnpike – New York, TrentonExit 9 on I-95 / Turnpike
40.2264.73Tower Center BoulevardNorthbound exit and entrance
New Brunswick40.6165.36  US 1 – Newark, TrentonInterchange
41.4166.64Southern end of freeway section and collector/distributor roads
  Route 172 (CR 527 north) / George Street – Cook Campus, Douglass CampusNorthern end of CR 527 concurrency; no southbound exit
41.7567.19Commercial Avenue
41.9667.53New Street — Arts & Business District
42.2968.06  Route 27 (Albany Street) – Highland Park, PrincetonNo northbound entrance
Northern end of collector/distributor roads
42.8969.02George Street (CR 672) – College Avenue CampusNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
43.2069.52  To Route 27 south / George Street (CR 672) – College Avenue Campus, New BrunswickSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
43.5070.01  To CR 527 (Easton Avenue) / George Street (CR 672) – South Bound BrookNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
Raritan River43.5870.14John A. Lynch, Sr. Memorial Bridge
Piscataway43.8670.59River Road (CR 622) – Highland Park, Piscataway
44.2871.26Campus Road – Busch Campus, Rutgers Stadium
44.7071.94Metlars Lane (CR 609 north) / Davidson Road – Livingston Campus, Rutgers RAC
45.3072.90Northern end of freeway section
47.3776.23Hoes Lane / Centennial Avenue / Old New Brunswick Road — South Plainfield, Dunellen
   Possumtown Road / Knightsbridge Road to I-287 / N.J. TurnpikeExit 8 on I-287; southbound access via Knightsbridge Road and northbound access via Possumtown Road
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "New Route Markers Go Up Next Month" (PDF). The Hackettstown Gazette. December 18, 1952. p. 17. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Route 18 straight line diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. June 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Middlesex County Straight Line Diagrams" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. 2011–2013. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e Overview map of Route 18 (Map). Cartography by Navteq Inc. Bing Maps/Microsoft Incorporated. 2009. Archived from the original on March 9, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2009.
  5. ^ a b 1953 renumbering, New Jersey Department of Highways, archived from the original on June 28, 2011, retrieved July 31, 2009
  6. ^ a b ROUTE NO. S-28. Beginning at Route No. 28 in Borough of Middlesex, thence via Raritan Avenue and River Road to Route No. 27 Highland Park, thence via Route No. 27 to New Brunswick, thence via Weston's Mills, Tanners Corner, Old Bridge and Browntown to Route No. 4 in Matawan. L. 1927, c. 319.
  7. ^ ROUTE NO. S-29. Following Washington avenue in the borough of Middlesex and the River road in township of Piscataway and borough of Highland Park from Route No. 29 in borough of Middlesex to Route No. 27 in borough of Highland Park.
  8. ^ A photo taken in March 1960 (larger Archived July 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine TIFF) from [1]
  9. ^ a b Regional Highways: Status Report. Tri-State Transportation Commission. 1962.
  10. ^ Location of State Route 18: Engineering Report,. New Jersey State Highway Department. 1965.
  11. ^ "Route 18 Straight Line Diagram" (PDF). Internet Archives WayBack Machine. New Jersey Department of Transportation. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 22, 2006. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  13. ^ Rutgers University. "Route 18 Reconstruction Analysis" (PDF). Rutgers University. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 31, 2007. Retrieved December 11, 2007.
  14. ^ Barth, Linda J. (August 11, 2004). Images of America: The Delaware and Raritan Canal. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-1081-1.
  15. ^ "Old Raritan Canal Is Focus of a Classic Dispute". The New York Times. April 16, 1977.
  16. ^ Waggoner, Walter H. (May 9, 1977). "Two Long-Disputed Projects To Begin". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Route 18 Freeway Extension Project, Administrative Action Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Section 4(f) Statement. Federal Highway Administration / New Jersey Department of Transportation. 1984.
  18. ^ Hester Sr., Tom (August 19, 2009). "Reconstruction of Route 18 in New Brunswick completed". Newsroom Jersey. New Jersey: Newsroom Jersey. Retrieved December 13, 2009.
  19. ^ "Route 18 Reconstruction Overview". Ewing, New Jersey: New Jersey Department of Transportation. 2009. Retrieved December 13, 2009.
  20. ^ Greenblatt, Sarah. "Rutgers OK's Extension for Route 18". The Home News Tribune. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Gannett Newspapers. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  21. ^ Route 18 Extension: Section 3A Project Map (PDF) (Map). Cartography by New Jersey Department of Transportation. New Jersey Department of Transportation. 2009. Retrieved December 13, 2009.
  22. ^ "NJDOT breaks ground on project to complete Route 18 extension to Interstate 287 in Piscataway". New Jersey Department of Transportation. February 15, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  23. ^ Haydon, Tom (February 15, 2012). "$28M project will help connect Route 18 with I-287 in Piscataway". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  24. ^ "News Release". NJ Department of Transportation. April 14, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  25. ^ New Jersey Department of Transportation. "Lettiere presents $1 million to Wall Township for multi-use bike trail". Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved December 15, 2007.
  26. ^ "3 crossings make N.J. hit list". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  27. ^ "Park-and-ride proposal faces battle in Wall". Asbury Park Press. Gannett Newspapers. November 7, 2006.
  28. ^ "2009 Capital Improvement Programs" (PDF). Ewing, New Jersey: New Jersey Department of Transportation. 2008. p. 1. Retrieved December 13, 2009.

External linksEdit