Route 33 is a state highway in the US state of New Jersey. The highway extends 42.03 miles (67.64 km), from Trenton at an intersection with U.S. Route 1 and Route 129 to an intersection with Route 71 in Neptune Township. The speed limit on Route 33 differs in zones. The highest is 55 mph (85 km/h) in Zone 9. There are several intersections on 33 with future developments.
Route 33 begins in Trenton on a two-lane road. It passes through central Mercer County, joining northbound U.S. Route 130 in Robbinsville Township. It leaves the U.S. highway in East Windsor and becomes a local town road into the borough of Hightstown. It turns east again as it passes the east end of the Hightstown Bypass, where it becomes a divided arterial with four lanes as it makes its way through Monmouth County toward the shore. Around Freehold, it becomes a freeway. It then crosses the Garden State Parkway's Exit 100 in Tinton Falls and Route 18 in Neptune. Here, it is locally known as Corlies Avenue. Route 33 ends at Route 71 in Neptune. It has two concurrencies along the route, one with Route 34 and the second with US 130.
On its way across central New Jersey, Route 33 traverses three counties: Mercer, Middlesex, and Monmouth. Beginning in Trenton as Greenwood Avenue, Route 33 is a two-lane road, with one lane in each direction. Once it merges with U.S. Route 130 in Robbinsville Township, Route 33 has two lanes in each direction. After crossing into East Windsor Township, Route 33 veers off and becomes a local road going into Hightstown. After passing through the center of town, Route 33 again enters East Windsor Township where it becomes becomes an avenue with a total of at least four lanes with two lanes in each direction underneath the turnpike overpass. Before leaving Mercer County, the road intersects with an interchange at Route 133 that provides access to Exit 8 of the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95). Route 33 then crosses into Monroe Township, where it is slowly becoming a residential access road for new communities. It then continues into Millstone Township as a rural avenue. Continuing into Manalapan Township, the avenue again becomes a residential access road. At the ramp for Route 33 Business, the avenue turns into a freeway bypass, known as the Freehold Bypass. Route 33 bypasses Freehold Borough to the south staying within Freehold Township. Within Freehold Borough, Route 33 Business is the original alignment of Route 33 before the bypass was built.
The bypass of Freehold is the partial alignment of what would have been a Route 33 freeway from Neptune to Trenton. As time went on, a scaled back version of just a bypass was agreed upon. The western start of the freeway is just east of County Route 527, and was built from Route 33 Business to U.S. Route 9 in the 1970s. The next section was built from U.S. Route 9 across Route 79 to Halls Mill Road (County Route 55), and this remained its terminus from the late 1980s until January 17, 2003, when the final leg of the bypass was opened. East of Halls Mills Road, it is a two-lane freeway with a westbound entrance at Howell Road, and full access from Fairfield Road.
The Howell Road eastbound exit ramp has been closed since the bypass opened because of safety concerns. The interchange was originally planned to be a partial cloverleaf, but residents near Howell Road were concerned by sprawl and forced the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to scale back the plans. Instead, a diamond interchange was built. This forced drivers wishing to head northbound on Howell Road to make a left turn, which proved to be dangerous because of the limited sight distance caused by the overpass. Now because the NJDOT does not want to pay to fix the problem, the exit has been barricaded since the freeways extension was opened. The ramp has guardrails blocking access and the NJDOT intends to bulldoze what is left.
Passing the Fairfield exit, it crosses over Business 33 and the two roads merge as a two-lane road. Route 33 passes along the southern section of the Naval Weapons Station Earle and then becomes a residential access road. The road then runs concurrent with Route 34 and becomes a divided four-lane avenue as it travels into Wall Township. Routes 33/34 come upon a roundabout and they both split as Route 33 continues east thru a rural section into Tinton Falls. It goes past the intersection with Route 66, past the interchange with the Garden State Parkway, across the highway and into Neptune Township. The road passes through suburban and rural sections until it comes upon the interchange with Route 18. Immediately past the exit, Route 33 borders Neptune City on the south and Neptune Township on the north for a brief stretch before completely re-entering Neptune Township. After it crosses Route 35, the avenue ends and becomes a two-lane road for a brief stretch. Route 33 then ends at Route 71 (just west of Ocean Grove).
Route 33 originally was part of the 1920s New Jersey Route 1 in parts of the road south of Hightstown and as Route 7 from Hightstown to its terminus at Route 71. Both roads were changed into Route 33 in the 1927 New Jersey state highway renumbering.
Route 33 was originally planned as a freeway from U.S. Route 1 in Trenton across New Jersey to Route 18 in Neptune. However, in 1967, the NJDOT scaled back proposals to the current seven-mile (11 km) Freehold Bypass. The bypass from near County Route 527 in Manalapan to Halls Mills Road in Freehold was completed and opened in segments from 1971–1988; however, the remainder of the bypass east to Fairfield Road in Howell was not completed until 2003. The project cost $33.7 million in 2003 USD.
For such a small freeway, the Route 33 bypass has more abandoned segments than any other state freeway in New Jersey. Comparatively, Routes 15, 18, 21 and 24 each only have one abandoned portion to them. Here are the three segments on Route 33, in eastbound order.
Up until late 1988, Route 33 westbound ran underneath US 130, then merged with 130's southbound lanes. This was because Route 33 ran alongside some railroad tracks at that point, and a massive overpass carried US 130 over both. (Route 33 eastbound also ascended the bridge approach about halfway before branching off like an exit rampâ€”a sign with flashing lights read "Hightstown, Shore Points" at the fork). But this Hightstown–Windsor rail segment was actually abandoned back in the 1960s. So by 1989, the bridge over Route 33 and the trackbed was removed, with its approaches flattened to grade. Route 33 now meets US 130 at north end of the multiplex with a traffic signal.
At the southern end of the 33/130 multiplex, where Route 33 heads west, an old and narrow bridge used to carry the highway over the aforementioned railroad tracks. In 2009, this overpass was leveled to grade and replaced with a new wide and linear roadway for 33. No railroad grade crossing has been built, as the Robbinsville–Windsor rail segment is out of service.
Until 2003, the 33/130 junction in Robbinsville was configured as an at-grade wye interchange, employing curved ramps for the directional movements. The junction has since been modified to a signalized intersection with ordinary turning lanes. It has also been converted from a T-intersection to a 4-way, with the construction of a new road on the southeast side of US-130.
On December 31, 2006, the Turnpike Authority released its proposals regarding Interchange 8. The old Interchange 8 was to be demolished and replaced with a new interchange. The new Exit 8 would end at the intersection with Route 33, Milford Road, and the 133 bypass (on the east side of the expressway, instead of the west). This new Exit 8 would grant direct access to the bypass (without going through any traffic lights), as well as to 33, using grade-separated interchanges. The new toll gate was to feature a total of 10 lanes at the new facility. The new interchange opened in January 2013.
There are many future developments for Route 33. Heavy traffic and recent studies hint at a possible widening of Route 33 all the way to Route 34 in Wall Township, however this is still only in the proposal phase. Monmouth County is performing a corridor study on Route 33 to determine if any action should happen. The Collingwood Circle is scheduled for replacement with a smaller roundabout, starting Fall 2006. The idea is to slow the traffic down before it enters the new intersection, but with such heavy traffic on both Route 33 and Route 34. It does not seem likely that this will solve the congestion issue and the NJDOT will likely reconstruct it a decade from now like the former Route 35 and Route 36 Circle in Eatontown. There is a planned Route 33 bypass of Robbinsville Township that will run from Washington Boulevard and link up with U.S. Route 130 at South Gold Drive. The former alignment of Route 33 will likely become a Main Street for the new Washington Town Center. Route 33 is being widened from Route 35 to Route 71 in Neptune to provide a center turning lane as well as shoulders. Signals will be modified to provide proper movements.
Monmouth County recently gave a tour to DOT officials, stressing the need to improve the Wemrock Road exit off the Route 33 freeway. They also wanted the intersection with Business 33 to be rebuilt. County officials believe that both projects would help with future traffic flow emanating from the planned Freehold Raceway Mall connector road.
Route 33 Business is a short state highway in New Jersey that is the original alignment of Route 33 before a freeway was built as a bypass of Freehold. This business route stretches 6.89 miles (11.09 km) through Manalapan Township, Freehold Township, Freehold Borough and Howell Township. The highway holds the distinction of being the only business route state highway in all of New Jersey.
Route 33 Business begins at the interchange with Route 33, its parent route, in Manalapan Township, New Jersey. A short distance after, the interchange from Route 33 eastbound merges into Route 33 Business, and the route passes to the south of Monmouth Battlefield State Park and enters Freehold Township. Soon after entering the borough of Freehold, Route 33 Business interchanges with U.S. Route 9. Route 33 Business turns to the southeast, passing to the north of Freehold Raceway. A short distance later, Route 33 Business intersects at a traffic light with New Jersey Route 79 (South Street) in downtown Freehold. At the intersection with Fairfield Road, Route 33 Business enters the interchange with Route 33 and the freeway, where the designation terminates.
Route 33 Business originates as an alignment of Route 33, designated across the state in the 1927 New Jersey state highway renumbering as a replacement to Routes 1 and 7, which were assigned in the 1920s. The route remained intact for several decades, continuing as the proposals for the crosstown Route 33 Freeway during the 1960s were drawn up. The new Route 33 Freeway was to be 39 miles (63 km) long, starting at U.S. Route 1 in Trenton, crossing through Princeton and into Hightstown, where it would connect with the current-day New Jersey Route 133, heading eastward, where it would connect with the unbuilt Driscoll Expressway in Freehold. The freeway would continue, interchanging with the Garden State Parkway near Exit 100 in Neptune and terminate at the Route 18 freeway in Neptune. However, the next year, the New Jersey Department of Transportation had to scale down the project to a new bypass of Freehold, and prevent the congestion of traffic through the borough. Design studies began that year, and the entire bypass was constructed during the 70s and 80s, with the entire freeway finished in 1988. This new bypass was designated as Route 33 Bypass from 1965 until Route 33 was re-aligned off the local roads onto the new freeway in 1990, which at that time, Route 33 Business was designated on the former alignment.