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Route 138 is an arterial state highway located entirely in Monmouth Countymarker, New Jerseymarker that extends for . The route's western terminus is at the eastern of Interstate 195 at the interchange with Route 34 in Wall Townshipmarker. Route 138's western terminus is at Route 35 in Belmarmarker. The highway is also meant to be an evacuation route in case of a disaster, where the eastbound lanes (as well as the eastbound lanes on Interstate 195) would be reversed all the way to the New Jersey Turnpike.

The highway was first built as part of the planned Route 38 freeway in 1941. The freeway was to traverse the state from Camdenmarker to Belmar. When it became clear that the gap between two sections of Route 38 would not be filled, the New Jersey Department of Transportation re-designated the eastern portion as Route 138.

Route description

Route 138 begins at Interchange 35A along Interstate 195 and Route 34 in Wall Townshipmarker. The continuation of Interstate 195, Route 138 continues the four-lane right-of-way through Monmouth County. The route interchanges with Route 34 northbound at Exit 35B and crossing the cloverleaf. A short distance later, the highway crosses to the south of a construction site and crosses over the southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway (Route 444) and intersects with the on-ramp from the southbound lanes. The highway crosses over the northbound lanes and reaches Exit 36, which serves the Parkway and a nearby park and ride. Continuing on, Route 138 becomes an arterial boulevard, intersecting with Allenwood Road in a rather dense area of Wall Township.

Route 138 continues further, passing to the south and to the north of commercial complexes along with several residential areas. The highway then proceeds to a small interchange with Club Drive, which serves a mix of residential homes and commercial buildings. From there, Route 138 becomes surrounded by patches of trees before interchanging with the southern terminus of Route 18 soon after. The route passes north along the interchange, where stub ramps along Route 18 can be seen to the south. After crossing Route 18, Route 138 continues on, entering a large commercial district, interchanging with New Bedford Road in the community of Belmarmarker. The highway continues as an arterial, serving the local high school and local residential homes for a long distance. Route 138 interchanges with Marconi Road and Bayshore Court before coming to a large interchange with Route 35, where the designation terminates.


The current alignment of Route 138 originates as an alignment of the State Highway Route&nbsp:38 assigned in 1938. At that point, Route 38 was proposed as a highway from Camdenmarker (where it would end), past its former terminus at State Highway Route 39 to an intersection with Stata Highway Route 4-N in the community of Wall Township east of Fort Dixmarker. A short portion of the highway was constructed from State Highway Route 34 to State Highway Route 35 was constructed as Route 38, which survived the 1953 state highway renumbering. During the 1960s, the New Jersey State Highway Department began to lay out a network of limited-access state highways across the state. The Route 38 freeway was proposed as a highway from Interstate 676 in Camden to current-day Route 18 in Wall Township, to relieve congestion off of Route 70. The freeway was readopted by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission for the new Route 38 freeway from the Ben Franklin Bridge eastward (paralleling Route 70 and U.S. Route 30) to the area of Jackson Townshipmarker, where it would follow current Interstate 195's alignment. The long freeway was estimated by the highway department to cost $60 million (1969 USD) and to be finished around 1985. The proposal lasted through the 1970s, along with a cost adjustment in 1972, inflating the amount to construct the freeway at $101 million (1972 USD). By the end of the 1970s, the Route 38 freeway was facing opposition and limited resources, so the project was shelved. In 1988, the portion of Route 38 from Route 34 to Route 35 was re-designated to Route 138.

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