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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the April 21, 2004 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Lights Out on Route 1 At Nassau Park
Just back from a delightful round-trip drive to Cape May on the first summerlike day of the season, NJ DOT spokesperson Joe Fiordaliso takes a few minutes to address upcoming changes on a stretch of roadway that is considerably less bucolic than the heron-dotted southern end of the Garden State Parkway.
“We’re turning off the traffic signal at Nassau Park,” he says. “We’re turning back the mast arms very shortly.” Within weeks, or possibly even days, both the traffic light and the jughandle at the intersection of Route 1 and Nassau Park — site of offices, restaurants, and stores, including Wegmans, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart — will be gone. At least for a while.
The goal, says Fiordaliso, is to relieve congestion on Route 1 and to get traffic moving. The hope is that removing the Nassau Park light will do just that, but there is some uncertainty. “The department is going to observe traffic patterns minus the signal up to six months,” he says.
Cameras and teams of observers will watch traffic, both at the intersection and north and south of the intersection to see if the present bottleneck is relieved or just moves south to the entrance to I-295. In addition, U.S. 1 newspaper will conduct its annual traffic survey in the second or third week of September — if rush hour traffic is improved by the change it may well be reflected in the commuting times measured by that survey.
“Turning off the signal will have an impact on traffic well up and down the corridor,” he says. Observations of any bottlenecks at other spots, or of difficulties motorists may have entering and leaving Nassau Park will determine whether the traffic light stays off, or what other traffic management tactics might best be used to cut congestion.
“We want to be absolutely sure that turning off the signal is the right thing to do,” says Fiordaliso. “Safety is our first concern.”
Safety may not be compromised, but it does appear that there will be a compromise between speed on Route 1 and convenience for shoppers and office workers using Nassau Park. Southbound traffic will not be affected — right hand turns will still be permitted into Nassau Park and right hand turns from the center onto Route 1 south will continue. But with the jughandle closed, northbound motorists will have to exit Route 1 at Quakerbridge Road, continue to Provinceline Road, and wind their way into the shopping center through its back door.
Other issues may arise during the six-month trial, but Fiordaliso says there is no sense, at this point, in speculating on any “plan B” for feeding motorists into Nassau Park, while meeting one of his department’s “A” goals — speeding up the flow of traffic on Route 1.
— Kathleen McGinn Spring
The Exit 8A distribution market, because of its easy access to highways leading to New York and Philadelphia, continues to be strong. Having leased out its available space there, ProLogis will begin construction next week on a 134,000-foot distribution building, to be finished on October 1. It is the last construction at ProLogis Park Cranbury, which will then amount to 2,064,000 square feet. ProLogis owns and operates distribution facilities in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe.
Christian Casey, the Manhattan-based distributor for the men’s and boys’ clothing line Sean John, has leased 84,056 feet at 2 Capital Drive. This 154,000-foot building is also occupied by Source One Worldwide, a fulfillment firm. Work is still being done to fit out this space, and Christian Casey will move in in June.
On March 1 a mail and freight consolidator, MailCon, moved into 145,600 feet at 4 Aurora Drive. This 416,000-foot building is also the home of Greybar Electric and Waterford/Wedgwood.
Trane, the air conditioning division of American Standard, now occupies 153,808 square feet at 7 Santa Fe Way, a 501,400 square foot building also occupied by Anixter and Workflow Management. Trane moved in on April 1.
Worldwide, Trane manufactures heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. Its State Street plant in Trenton makes residential furnaces and coils, and now it is storing them at ProLogis Park. American Standard is also a ProLogis customer in Dallas, San Antonio, and Juarez, Mexico.
ProLogis has 240.2 million square feet in 1,764 distribution facilities owned, managed and under development in 70 markets.
ProLogis (PLD), 1 Capital Drive, Building 1, Suite 103, Cranbury 08512. John Hanlon, office manager. 609-409-2120; fax, 609-409-1565. Www.prologis.com
Rockwood Specialties Group has paid $2.7 billion for four specialty chemical companies and will nearly triple in size. At Rockwood’s headquarters in 100 Overlook are 17 employees, but internationally the company employs 2,500 people. This acquisition will bring the headcount to 10,000.
The companies that Rockwood bought constitute 80 percent of Dynamit Nobel, which in turn is owned by Frankfurt-based MG Technologies, an industrial plant engineering business. Dynamit Nobel’s auto oriented plastics business did not go in the Rockport package and is still up for sale.
Rockwood had about $800 million in sales last year, and with the acquisition that will grow to around $1.8 billion in annual sales. Rockwood’s products include wood preservatives, inorganic pigments and chemicals for semiconductors and circuit boards.
Dynamit Nobel AG, based in Troisdorf, Germany, carries the name of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. The company used to make dynamite, but no more. Now it produces coatings, lubricants, and pigments for ceramics and chemical products, and it also makes rocket engines and anti-tank systems.
To create Rockwood in 2000, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts put together several divisions of Laporte Plc, then based in Great Britain. Laporte had had an office on Chambers Street, and as Rockwood it moved to 100 Overlook. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity are providing the capital for the expansion.
Rockwood Specialties Group, 100 Overlook Center, Princeton 08540. Seifi Ghasemi, CEO. 609-514-0300; fax, 609-514-8720. Www.rockwoodspecialties.com
Victor Argo, 69, on April 7. He had played Santiago in “Anna in the Tropics” at McCarter and on Broadway.
Michael A. Manz, 32, on April 11. He had worked at A-1 Limousine.
Carmela A. Maglione Risoldi, 78, on April 13. Married to Sam Risoldi, she had worked in the family business, Risoldi’s Thriftway.
Nancy M. Hendrickson, 61, on April 13. She was a secretary at the Borough of Princeton and had been a Realtor.
Kirsten E. Schafer, 44, on April 18. She had been employed by Trap Rock Industries.
Alma Hill-Byron, 82, on April 18. She founded Looking Into the Future Together (LIFT), which provided day care and counseling for teen parents.
Fred Lewis, 88, on April 18. He was the son of the founder of the Lewis Fishery, which studies shad and inspired the annual Lambertville Shad Festival. The funeral will be at Centenary Methodist Church on Saturday, April 24, at 9 a.m., the first day of the festival.
Robert M. Meyers 87, on April 18. He was the retired president of Management Planning Inc
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