Carteret, NJ – Mayor Daniel J. Reiman joined with Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac to announce that the long awaited extension of the Industrial Highway into Woodbridge will officially open on 12/14/07. The 1.4 mile extension was approved by the Borough of Carteret and Woodbridge Township as part of the Port Reading Industrial Park Redevelopment project in May of 2004. The new roadway is heralded as a solution to the truck traffic that has inundated the residential and light commercial areas of Port Reading Avenue in Woodbridge Township and Roosevelt Avenue in Carteret. Truck traffic will now be diverted from Port Reading and Roosevelt Avenues.
The Industrial Road Extension (IRE) has been in the plans since the 1960’s and was considered the next step in the project after the original construction of Industrial Road in Carteret was completed in the mid-1980s. As part of the project Carteret received a Federal TEA-21 Grant in the amount of $2.0M for the construction of various upgrades and improvements along the roadway on the Carteret side. A range of conceptual plans were prepared over the years, but the project was not advanced due to budget constraints for both municipalities and lack of NJDOT funding.
Beginning in 2003, ProLogis (formerly Catellus Development Group) expressed interest in developing two large Brownfields in Carteret, the former Reichhold Chemical, and Staflex sites (formerly part of the U.S. Metals Carteret Refinery) comprising 55 acres in Carteret, and the Beazer, PSE&G, and Oliver Block site in the Port Reading section of Woodbridge Township, comprising 235 acres. Joining with Carteret and Woodbridge, they developed the final plan to construct the IRE. The private development project known as “Port Reading Business Park” was approved by both the Carteret and Woodbridge Planning Boards. The Carteret side of the project was completed in 2005 and the first building on the Port Reading side, fronting Port Reading Avenue was complete in November 2007. Six additional buildings are planned for Woodbridge consisting of 2.5 million square feet, with a total two-town build-out of 3.2 million square feet.
The extension project is expected to minimize truck traffic along Roosevelt and Port Reading Avenues by creating a bypass through the area’s Industrial Park district. The extension extends from its former termination at the municipal boundary in Carteret to the intersection of Port Reading Ave. and East Tappen Street in the Port Reading section of Woodbridge.
Carteret’s Industrial Park hosts several other large storage and import/export facilities, including Cargo Logistics, White Rose, and NACA Logistics, and is the destination of most of the regional truck traffic that comes through the town to and from the N.J. Turnpike Interchange 12.
The extended roadway design includes a 50 foot wide “right-of-way” with one lane in each direction, with center left turn lanes at all warehouse driveways. IRE is a fully curbed roadway. The cost for construction of the IRE was fully funded by the developer (ProLogis) as a part of their site plan improvements, and at no cost to the municipal taxpayers of Carteret or Woodbridge. The Carteret side of the Industrial Highway has been previously dedicated as the “Peter J. Sica Memorial Highway,” and the Woodbridge side as “Industrial Highway”. As part of the original approvals and inter-local agreements, The Industrial Road project will become part of the Middlesex County road network and will be turned over to the county streets and roads department in 2008.
“By partnering with the Town of Woodbridge and ProLogis in the redevelopment of these once abandoned brownfield sites, and in approving a more efficient thoroughfare for trucking, we have addressed an ongoing quality of life concern for residents and established the groundwork for additional economic growth,” Mayor Reiman stated. “This new highway connection creates an alternative route for truck traffic from the neighborhood commercial areas in Port Reading and Carteret, and can only benefit the ongoing and future revitalization of these older areas. The expanded Industrial Road will prime the pump for new development, while also alleviating some of the burden of localized traffic for Carteret and Woodbridge residents alike.”
“The opening of the Industrial Highway Extension provides a real alternative by removing hundreds of trucks from local streets in Port Reading and Woodbridge. This project is a prime example of how shared services between municipalities, combined with a working partnership with the corporate community, can achieve fantastic results that truly benefit the residents and businesses of Woodbridge and Carteret,” said Mayor McCormac. “The opening of the Extension is just part of continued improvements that are transforming the Port Reading commercial district into a viable economic engine that will benefit the entire region.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony will be at 1:30 p.m., Friday, at the intersection of Port Reading Avenue and Industrial (Middlesex) Avenue in Port Reading.