East Brunswick is a suburban Township in Middlesex County, New Jersey near the Raritan River. According to the United States 2000 Census, the township population was 46,756. Route 18 runs through the eastern part of the township. The town lies on Exit 9 of the New Jersey Turnpike.
It was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 28, 1860, from portions of both Monroe Township and North Brunswick Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Washington town within the township (February 23, 1870; became independent as South River on February 28, 1898), Helmetta (March 20, 1888), Milltown (January 29, 1889) and Spotswood (April 15, 1908).
The general area of central New Jersey was once occupied by the Lenape Native Americans. Around the late 1600s, settlers began arriving in the northern part of East Brunswick, and by the mid-1800s, a small village had formed in the southeastern part, known as the Old Bridge section of the town. This area is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The area today known as East Brunswick was composed of parts of North Brunswick and Monroe townships. The township was incorporated in 1860 and grew steadily as a rural farming community.
After decades as a quiet farming area, East Brunswick began to change in the 1930s. Large scale housing and road construction, especially after World War II, transformed the sleepy community into a large suburban town. The extension of the New Jersey Turnpike to East Brunswick in 1951 led to a sharp spike in population growth.
In the early 1970s a citizens group Concerned Citizens of East Brunswick sued the New Jersey Turnpike Authority over a proposed major widening project. The citizens group effectively won this case gaining concessions in turnpike design, scale and mitigation measures for noise and air quality. The citizens group presented technical data from their own experts and prevailed in what was one of the earliest technical confrontations regarding urban highway design related to environmental factors in U.S. history.