It looks to be another busy weekend at the Jersey Shore as travelers from not only all over the Garden State, but also the tri-state area converge on Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Even at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon the traffic was starting to pick up as drivers make their way to the south and east depending on their original point of origin.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is already reporting delays heading south in the area of exit 117. That delay is estimated to stretch down to exit 114 causing five miles worth of traffic due to heavy volume.
There are then more delays reported on the southbound side near exit 109 stretching to exit 105. A 4.5 mile backup is also being attributed to heavy traffic on the roadway.
Traffic continues to pile up the further south you travel as the heavy volume has reached down near exit 91 stretching 2.5 miles because of much of the same heavy volume affecting the northern part of the state.
The Turnpike is not looking much better in pockets, including heading south from exit 8A to Exit 8. That nine mile trouble spot is making getting down to the Jersey Shore area a much longer trip than us usually expected.
Captain Frank Davis of the New Jersey State Police said the department will have extra patrols on the roadway starting today and going until 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning. "Normally on a holiday weekend we do expect there to be heavier traffic on the roadways," he said.
Davis said the patrols will focus their efforts on the more heavily traveled portions of the state to not only enforce the laws but also help those motorists in need. With not only heavy traffic but also hot weather, he said it is important that drivers ensure their vehicles are up for long trips that could be even longer and that they are prepared should anything go wrong while on the road.
That includes having emergency supplies with them and making sure their cell phones are fully charged should they have to call for roadside assistance.
Drivers are also reminded that there is a new "move over" law, which requires them to either change lanes or move in other ways to allow emergency vehicles to pass them should the need arise.
One good piece of information is that the New Jersey Department of Transportation has suspended construction projects on its roadways to eliminate at least that possible headache for drivers moving from one spot to another.