ROUTE 31, PENNINGTON CIRCLE

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ

McCormick Taylor was responsible for the concept development, final design, and construction engineering services for Route 31, Pennington Circle to increase safety for the motorists that use the highly traveled route.

CONSTRUCTION, DESIGN, ENVIRONMENTAL , GOVERNMENT, INFRASTRUCTURE

THE CHALLENGE

The Pennington Circle had a long history of accidents and posed a significant challenge for improvement. Between 2010 and 2013, there were 200 accidents either within the circle or along one of its approaches.

 

Analysis of traffic operations and crash history indicated that operational and safety issues existed at the Pennington Circle. Additionally, numerous same direction rear-end crashes were reported on the CR 546 eastbound and westbound approaches to the circle due to the lack of gaps for motorists entering the circle.

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HOW WE HELPED

McCormick Taylor was responsible for concept development, final design, and construction engineering services of the project. We considered 13 different alternatives to improve the circle, including the possibility of removing it entirely, installing a roundabout, and installing traffic signals. However, doing so would negatively affect the surrounding businesses and residents, result in major environmental impacts, and would not significantly improve traffic operations and safety.

 

Traffic metering signals—one north of the circle to meter Route 31 southbound traffic and one south of the circle to meter Route 31 northbound traffic—were installed and provide significant operational and safety benefits while addressing congestion and queuing issues.

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RESULTS

The finished project achieved NJDOT’s goals and has provided a safety benefit at the Pennington Circle for a relatively low construction cost with minimal impacts to adjacent businesses and residents.

 

Additional changes to improve safety include:

  • Striping improvements to better delineate lane use within the circle

  • Diagrammatic guide signs to improve guidance for motorists

  • Painted truck aprons at the north and south ends of the circle

  • Resurfacing pavement within the project limits

  • Drainage improvements to reduce the flow onto travel lanes

  • Upgrades to existing guide rail to current standards

  • Clearing of vegetation for the relocation of utility poles

  • Highway lighting improvement