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Jughandle Ban Bill Passes Senate Committee

Legislator says flyover bridges and modernized intersections are safer

A bill that would ban the future construction of jughandles in New Jersey passed muster with a state Senate panel Monday, paving the way for its potential consideration before the entire body.

The measure by state Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Ocean) would prohibit the planning, design or construction of any additional jughandles on roads or highways statewide. It passed the Senate Transportation Committee Monday.

Holzapfel, in a statement issued after the committee vote, said the bill was inspired by projects on several state highways— such as Routes 1, 4 and 130—where issues of heavy congestion and frequent accidents were solved by removing jughandles and replacing them with flyover bridges and modernized intersection designs.

"While jughandles were originally designed to prevent the build up of traffic at intersections, they can no longer handle the high volumes that are now common on many New Jersey roads,” said Holzapfel, in the statement. "Cars get backed up and people often have to wait through three, sometimes four, light changes to get through an intersection with a jughandle."

Holzapfel first proposed the prohibition of jughandle construction in 2003 when he served in the General Assembly, and resubmitted it every two years since when new legislative sessions opened. Monday was the first time the bill saw the light of day in a committee review.

Instead of jughandles, new intersections would be designed with flyover bridges – essentially, overpasses – or with lane structures that eliminate the need to go through an intersection twice and separate traffic entering and exiting a roadway with greater distance, thus avoiding the potential for accidents and speeding up traffic flow in the process.

Holzapfel's bill would not affect current jughandles.

Rosemary Bruno February 07, 2013 at 11:52 PM
What do transportation experts say about jug handles? Personally, I don't mind sitting through 3 or 4 changes of lights, if it means I am can make a left turn more safely than if the jug handle were not there. NJ transportation requirements are unique in that it is a very small and densely populated state, as compared to other states. Does NJ have the land/space to build flyover bridges in all instances? Do flyover bridges require more land to build them? If so, are some businesses going to be closed, because more land is needed? Do they require more material to build, thus are most costly? A total ban on jug handles seems premature and not necessary.
charlie February 08, 2013 at 12:35 AM
They expect taxpayers to pay big $$$$ so the bridge builders make lots of money. If you want to take a look at a good example of this type of roadway, take a ride up to Albany.
educatedsmallbizowner March 06, 2013 at 08:58 PM
What a joke... please NJ DOT stop pushing expensive projects.and lets leave all possible options to relieve traffic open. Why eliminate a viable option to traffic and safety in place. No need to ban this option. Be honest (yeah right) if you want to patronize the building bridge companies admit it stop screwing NJ and the rest of america (after all we get Fed funds). Did we not learn our lesson NJ residents that companies that benefit from this bill (Like Birdsall engineering) that have ripped of americans should not be tollerated or patronized. These companies and the owners and Officers of these corporations are the real terorrists to americans.

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