TOMS RIVER – A plan to cancel left turns from Route 9 onto Indian Head Road, and to have a southbound exit at Garden State Parkway interchange 83, moved forward at the February 15 meeting of the county Freeholders, when they introduced an ordinance that would authorize the design of some roads there.
Designing the project is expected to cost $1 million, which would be bonded. County engineer John Ernst said this ordinance would complete the local concept development, then it would go out to bid.
The southbound exit would be near the Toms River toll plaza. People exiting would come to a new traffic light to be built on Indian Head Road just west of the Parkway, he said.
This would provide a new path for commuters coming home from northern towns. They would no longer have to get off at Exit 82, and take the jughandle to get back on just so they can get off at Exit 83 northbound.
The Parkway improvement is just one part of the design. The other involves redirecting Route 9 traffic onto Lomell Lane. Lomell is the road that joins Indian Head Road to Route 9.
Some roads have several names. For the sake of clarity, Route 9 will also refer to Lakewood Road and Route 166.
After this redesign, any drivers heading north on Route 9 would not be allowed to make a left hand turn onto Indian Head Road. Instead, they would need to make a right at the light at Lomell Lane, cross through the other Parkway support roads, and reach the traffic light on Indian Head Road by Toms River Intermediate North.
This road would likely take the brunt of all traffic turning right onto Indian Head Road as well, so that the only vehicles left heading north on Route 9 will continue to go north on 9, and won’t make any turns. So, drivers going right on Indian Head Road will likely miss an entire intersection.
Drivers going left on Indian Head Road would hit four traffic lights: one on each end of Lomell, the new one where the Parkway exit 83 would land, and then Route 9 and Indian Head Road.
The traffic signals would be timed so that people coming this way would not get stopped at every light, Ernst said.
The plan would need to seek approval by the state Department of Transportation, which generally frowns upon any new traffic signals within one mile of another unless absolutely necessary.