The New Jersey Turnpike is a toll road in New Jersey and is one of the most densely traveled highways in the United States. Part of it forms part of the interstate highway system. Construction of the Turnpike from conceptualization to opening took an astonishing 23 months. Construction started in 1950 and the Turnpike was fully opened by 1952. The Turnpike boasts 12-foot-wide lanes, 10-foot-wide shoulders, 13 rest areas, and unusual exit signage that was considered the pinnacle of highway building in the 1950s, and the interstate highway system took some of its design guidelines by copying the Turnpike's design guidelines.
The main trunk of the Turnpike runs from Deepwater, New Jersey in the south to Ridgefield, New Jersey in the north. It is designated as unsigned New Jersey State Highway 700 from exits 1 through 6 and Interstate 95 from exits 6 through 18. The number of lanes ranges from 12 to 14 on Interstate 95 to 6 lanes on the section south of Trenton, the state capital.
Between exits 14 and 18, the Turnpike splits into two spurs, an eastern spur and a western spur. Both spurs are posted as I-95, although technically the eastern spur is I-95 as that was built first. The New Jersey Department of Transportation calls the western spur I-95W.
The Turnpike also has two extensions. The first, the Newark Bay Extension, is part of Interstate 78, opened in 1956. It connects Newark, New Jersey with Jersey City, New Jersey and intersects the main trunk near Newark International Airport.
The second extension connects the main trunk of the New Jersey Turnpike with the Pennsylvania Turnpike at exit 6. It is a 15-mile extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike into New Jersey, and it is part of Interstate 95.
The New Jersey Turnpike has even made it into popular culture. In the Chuck Berry song "You Can't Catch Me", the singer outruns the cops in his Cadillac on the New Jersey Turnpike. In Simon and Garfunkel's song "America", they sing "Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike/They've all gone to look for America". The book Looking for Love on the New Jersey Turnpike chronicles the history of "America's Main Road". Part of the movie Being John Malkovich was set next to the Turnpike.