SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J.—The Route 18 Extension, Section 2A highway project in Piscataway Township, N.J., was named the 2006 Project of the Year by the American Society of Highway Engineers, North Central New Jersey Section; and also received an Honor Award in the 2006 American Council of Engineering Companies, New Jersey Engineering Excellence Awards competition. Gannett Fleming’s South Plainfield, N.J., office designed the 2.1-mile-long highway segment with three interchanges to carry more than 40,000 vehicles daily. The Route 18 Extension eliminated a significant congestion bottleneck and completed the "missing link" in the New Jersey State Highway System.
Underlying this location is the 18th century port community of Raritan Landing. Before construction could begin, a $5.8 million data-recovery project to preserve the Raritan Landing Archaeological District was conducted. This constituted the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s largest single archaeological data-recovery undertaking. In addition, context-sensitive solutions were incorporated into the highway design, which included architectural and aesthetic enhancements that complemented the historic heritage of the Raritan Landing. According to Gannett Fleming, haunch girders, decorative lighting, and stained architectural concrete detailing on all surfaces of the bridge abutments, walls, and piers, enabled the project to be integrated seamlessly into the surrounding landscape.