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Author Topic: NJ - 295/76/42 Construction Projects  (Read 210034 times)

jeffandnicole

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NJ - 295/76/42 Construction Projects
« on: January 23, 2013, 09:21:46 AM »

http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/works/studies/rt295/

On Friday, NJDOT awarded the 1st of 4 main contracts for reconstructing the mega I-295/I-76/Route 42 interchange.

The contract cost is $159 million, which is about $16 million below estimate.  The construction time for the contract is about 2 years.

http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/business/procurement/ConstrServ/documents/BidTabs12142.pdf

Basically, this portion of the project will eliminate the express/local lane configuration on 76 West, replace some of the outlying overpasses (Creek Rd over 42, Bell Rd over 295, 295 over Essex Ave), construct a new ramp for 295 North to 76 West (which will double as the mainline for 295 Northbound for several years), construct a temporary ramp for 42 North to 295 North (which merges into the above mentioned ramp) and construct portions of other ramps, work which will be completed in future contracts.  Several new overhead signs are part of the contract as well.

A separate project to install several VMS signs, cameras, replace and coordinate traffic signals on alternative routes (US 130, NJ 168) which figure to be heavily used by people avoiding the construction is underway now (those routes are already at capacity and are not being widened, so they're limited on what can be done).  Other projects in the construction phase that are unrelated to the Direct Connection project but are getting done now to assist with traffic flow include is replacing the bridge deck on 168 over 295, and widening the intersection on Beningo Blvd at 168 (the 1st traffic light coming off Exit 3 of the NJ Turnpike).

For me personally, this project is exciting because it's only a few miles from where I live, and an interchange I travel thru to/from work each day.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2021, 11:41:15 AM by jeffandnicole »
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 10:17:40 PM »

This could make for a future road meet! :-)
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 09:55:53 AM »

Once this is complete, maybe they'll finally extend 76 onto the ACEX.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 12:19:04 PM »

Once this is complete, maybe they'll finally extend 76 onto the ACEX.
Doubt it.  They could do that this minute if they wanted.  And any upgrades to 42 that are needed aren't part of this project. 

They are looking at putting either a rail line down Rt. 42, more likely express bus service, and both would require improvements and widening to 42.  But as giving it Interstate status: it's not in anyone's future plans.
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BrianP

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 12:25:11 PM »

This could make for a future road meet! :-)
You might want to wait a few years.  The main thing to see in my eyes will be the new I-295 mainline bridge.  That doesn't start until contract #3 which starts in mid 2016.  This is a loong project.  It's the coolest project to hit south jersey since the completion of the northern half of NJ 55. 

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 01:02:56 PM »

I'm also interested in seeing the 'missing' turning movement (from NJ 42 North to I-295 South) being finally added.  I'm assuming that that phase will be in one of the other 4 related contracts.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 01:45:58 PM »

I'm also interested in seeing the 'missing' turning movement (from NJ 42 North to I-295 South) being finally added.  I'm assuming that that phase will be in one of the other 4 related contracts.

Believe it or not...NO!

This is actually a separate project that has been long delayed. Originally, the missing move ramps were supposed to be constructed around 2006-2008, following an alignment relatively far removed from this interchange (see http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/works/studies/rt295/pdf/AirQualityTES.pdf, page 2-9 for the proposed alignment). The Feds had said that those ramps must be built first as well to relieve the strain of traffic on the main interchange.  The missing moves ramps will be going over an old landfill that is currently being and capped, and is supposed to have a shopping center built on top, including a Bass Pro Shop.

The Developer wanted more of a localized street connecting the two highways with intersections and traffic lights, which would allow direct access to his shopping plaza.  So the developer convinced the local town to hold off on their blessing for the project, and NJDOT delayed it. 

The last I heard was while the developer won that fight, what he didn't count on was the various shops that have interest in the shopping center didn't want to sign contracts because of the planned interchange construction (makes sense...nothing deters traffic like a construction project!).  Thus, the developer couldn't obtain the agreements from the various companies needed to secure loans for the project!

So...the new plan is the old plan - a ramp that'll connect 295 and 42.  In the meantime, the Feds dropped their demand to have these ramps built first. 

The current 5 year Capital Plan for NJDOT shows this project going out to bid in FY2014, and taking about 2 - 3 years to construct.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 04:02:50 PM »

I still wish that NJDOT and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority would get it together and build a direct connection (Steve Anderson called it Exit 2A) from the Turnpike to I-76/N.J. 42.
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BrianP

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 04:51:34 PM »

I still wish that NJDOT and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority would get it together and build a direct connection (Steve Anderson called it Exit 2A) from the Turnpike to I-76/N.J. 42.
There isn't really a need for that. I'd say that the NJ Turnpike on that stretch primarily carries traffic that is just passing through Southern NJ.  Traffic that originates or terminates in the South Jersey region can use I-295. That's what I do.

Oh and I'm missing the I-295 NJ 42 missing moves since I actually would use that movement.  Now I have to use US 130 and go through Brooklawn etc.  So that is the one flaw with using I-295.  It's good to know it may be dealt with in a few years.  But please we don't need a shopping center causing another Breezewood in NJ.
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 05:51:34 PM »

I'm also interested in seeing the 'missing' turning movement (from NJ 42 North to I-295 South) being finally added.  I'm assuming that that phase will be in one of the other 4 related contracts.

Believe it or not...NO!

This is actually a separate project that has been long delayed. Originally, the missing move ramps were supposed to be constructed around 2006-2008, following an alignment relatively far removed from this interchange (see http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/works/studies/rt295/pdf/AirQualityTES.pdf, page 2-9 for the proposed alignment). The Feds had said that those ramps must be built first as well to relieve the strain of traffic on the main interchange.  The missing moves ramps will be going over an old landfill that is currently being and capped, and is supposed to have a shopping center built on top, including a Bass Pro Shop.

The Developer wanted more of a localized street connecting the two highways with intersections and traffic lights, which would allow direct access to his shopping plaza.  So the developer convinced the local town to hold off on their blessing for the project, and NJDOT delayed it. 

The last I heard was while the developer won that fight, what he didn't count on was the various shops that have interest in the shopping center didn't want to sign contracts because of the planned interchange construction (makes sense...nothing deters traffic like a construction project!).  Thus, the developer couldn't obtain the agreements from the various companies needed to secure loans for the project!

So...the new plan is the old plan - a ramp that'll connect 295 and 42.  In the meantime, the Feds dropped their demand to have these ramps built first. 

The current 5 year Capital Plan for NJDOT shows this project going out to bid in FY2014, and taking about 2 - 3 years to construct.
Very accurate summary. The ramps will still be built to allow future development of the site, so there is somewhat of an alteration from the original 2006 plan.

jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 08:37:33 AM »

NJDOT has frustratingly had very little public information concerning those missing move ramps - there's nothing on their website regarding them, for example.  Anything I've learned are from the public meetings for the 295 Direct Connection, and even then you need to find the right person that has knowledge of that project and is willing to talk about it.
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2013, 09:58:42 PM »

It's great to see 295 as 3 lanes going through.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 08:51:32 AM »

http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/community/meetings/documents/handout022113kn.pdf

Public meeting at the Bellmawr Ballroom on Thu., Feb 21st, 5pm - 8pm.

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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 08:54:20 AM »

The public meeting was held Thursday evening for the project.

From what I observed in the 1/2 hour I was there, it was extremely well attended by the public and a very upbeat meeting (in this state, that's almost unheard of!).  While some residents were a bit concerned about some areas of the project, some of it was unwarranted.  One person I was standing near feared the entire interchange was going to be closed, sending traffic on his side street not served by the interchange traffic.  He was assured the interchange was not shutting down.

Some of the key highlights (use this: http://goo.gl/maps/Fj87Q to help see the overall area) in this contract:

On 295 just south (west) of the interchange, a new overpass will be constructed over Essex Ave.  This will start in the median of the highway, and that portion will be used by Northbound, then Southbound, traffic when those respective areas of the existing overpass is demolished and reconstructed.

The Bell Road Overpass over 295 just north (east) of the interchange will be reconstructed in phases as well.  1 lane will remain open, with traffic lights to alternate traffic across the bridge.

The Creek Rd overpass over 42 just south of the interchange will be reconstructed and widened.  2 narrow lanes will remain open.  Access to/from Wellwood Ave will be temporarily suspended.  A separate, temporary pedestrian overpass will be constructed to the north of the existing bridge.

295 North, where it comes down to meet with 42, will be realigned.  Access to 295 North from 42 North will be via a new ramp prior to the existing merge, with a right lane entry.  Access to 76 West from 295 North will be from the left via a continous lane onto 76.  The result is no more dangerous weaving for traffic.  In addition, the existing express lane ramp from 295 North to 76 West will remain for the time being, although I believe the lane once it reaches 76 West, will end.  Currently, the lane is continous.

An advanced project under construction now is adding several traffic cameras, VMS signs (NJDOT uses the term Dynamic Message Signs now), traffic speed equipment (including utilizing bluetooth technology) and updating traffic signals in a large area on 130 & 168 to better adapt to traffic conditions.

Here's a newspaper article of the meeting: http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2013/02/residents_review_massive_proje.html
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2013, 05:13:16 PM »

The Creek Rd overpass over 42 just south of the interchange will be reconstructed and widened.  2 narrow lanes will remain open.  Access to/from Wellwood Ave will be temporarily suspended.  A separate, temporary pedestrian overpass will be constructed to the north of the existing bridge.
So, is this being widened to a 4-lane or 5-lane section, or what? Because I thought local improvements had been excised from the contract. Also, it had been proposed to permanently close off Wellwood Ave. and use Edgewood for all traffic between Creek and 42. Is this temporary closure maybe to test that out, and then turn permanent if it works?

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2013, 11:38:58 AM »

Once this is complete, maybe they'll finally extend 76 onto the ACEX.
The problem is that the ACE/GSP interchange needs to say I-76 ACE west Camden Philadelphia and I-76 ACE East Atlantic City on GSP exit 38 if the RT-42/ I-76 and I-295 reconstruction were to be completed, and I-76 being extended towards AC :D
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2013, 11:50:14 AM »

The problem is that 78 is a multiple of 13.
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2013, 06:48:33 PM »

The Creek Rd overpass over 42 just south of the interchange will be reconstructed and widened.  2 narrow lanes will remain open.  Access to/from Wellwood Ave will be temporarily suspended.  A separate, temporary pedestrian overpass will be constructed to the north of the existing bridge.
So, is this being widened to a 4-lane or 5-lane section, or what? Because I thought local improvements had been excised from the contract. Also, it had been proposed to permanently close off Wellwood Ave. and use Edgewood for all traffic between Creek and 42. Is this temporary closure maybe to test that out, and then turn permanent if it works?

Currently Creek Road (and specifically, the overpass) is 2 lanes...although wide enough in that the traffic contining straight (WB) can usually get around the traffic waiting to turn left towards Rt. 42 South via Harding Ave.  The new configuration will have 3 lanes - 1 lane EB & WB, and a Left Turn Lane for traffic accessing Rt. 42 South.  Traffic Lights will be installed at Harding & Edgewood Aves.

Per the drawings at the meeting showing the various phases in Contract 1, Wellwood Ave is blocked only during the construction phases, but was shown with access to Creek Rd at the completion of the contract.  Personally, I think they should've made Wellwood One Way South (away from Creek Rd) and converted Edgewood into a One Way North (towards Creek Rd).

Later on - I believe part of the 295/42 Missing Moves contract, the ramps from/to Rt. 42 North for Creek Rd (which actually put you on Leaf Ave) are supposed to be moved south slightly...about 1/10th of a mile or so, with a T-Interchange with Benigno Blvd.
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2013, 07:39:10 PM »

The idea SHOULD be to tie Benigno straight into Edgewood without the 5-way mess that's there now. Also, the problem with making Wellwood 1-way is that now you have left-turning traffic toward 42 North (which can be substantial) that has to go the extra block to make its turn - which puts it a bit far away from the Edgewood signal, which makes everything awkward. Just as soon would keep Edgewood 2-way.

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2013, 11:24:54 AM »

Wednesday article from the Philadelphia Inquirer about the ceremonial groundbreaking for the project.

Amongst the boneheaded comments in the article, this one apparently from Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno:

Quote
Joined by U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.) and local and county officials, Guadagno called the interruption of I-295 "the biggest hiccup" in the highway network between Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.

Maybe it's just me, but I see the gap in I-95 as the bigger hiccup.
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2013, 05:51:49 PM »

Wednesday article from the Philadelphia Inquirer about the ceremonial groundbreaking for the project.

Amongst the boneheaded comments in the article, this one apparently from Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno:

Quote
Joined by U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.) and local and county officials, Guadagno called the interruption of I-295 "the biggest hiccup" in the highway network between Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.

Maybe it's just me, but I see the gap in I-95 as the bigger hiccup.


Agreed, though the lack of a connection between the mainline of the N.J. Turnpike and I-76/I-295/N.J. 42/ACE is also worse.
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2013, 06:15:20 PM »

Maybe it's just me, but I see the gap in I-95 as the bigger hiccup.


Agreed, though the lack of a connection between the mainline of the N.J. Turnpike and I-76/I-295/N.J. 42/ACE is also worse.
why?
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2013, 09:46:56 PM »

Maybe it's just me, but I see the gap in I-95 as the bigger hiccup.


Agreed, though the lack of a connection between the mainline of the N.J. Turnpike and I-76/I-295/N.J. 42/ACE is also worse.
why?

First, a major missing movement (regardless of origin/destination pairs).  If the Turnpike had been a "free" road, I suppose it might be there today, but (IMO) it's pretty inexcusable not to have the connection.

Second, there are people coming from my part of the world (south of New Jersey along the I-95 Corridor) who would like to be able to get to the Jersey Shore by way of an all-freeway trip. Not possible now.
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2013, 10:09:34 PM »

Second, there are people coming from my part of the world (south of New Jersey along the I-95 Corridor) who would like to be able to get to the Jersey Shore by way of an all-freeway trip. Not possible now.
I-195 gets pretty close to the shore.

PS: Atlantic City wouldn't require new Turnpike ramps, just the missing movements at I-295 (which this thread is sort of about). The primary beneficiary of a Turnpike interchange would be the Turnpike itself. Building the missing I-295 ramps and eliminating the breezewood on NJ 73 between I-295 and the Turnpike (or building two ramps elsewhere connecting I-295 to the Turnpike) would provide direct connections between all routes at probably a fraction of the cost.
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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2013, 10:21:39 PM »


Second, there are people coming from my part of the world (south of New Jersey along the I-95 Corridor) who would like to be able to get to the Jersey Shore by way of an all-freeway trip. Not possible now.

I-95 North into PA, to I-76 East across the Walt Whitman Bridge, to Rt. 42 South, to the AC Expressway.

Problem solved.

And in case you're wondering, Google Directions puts that route at 2 miles, 3 minutes longer.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 12:36:51 AM by jeffandnicole »
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