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The Ghostbuster:
Why wasn't a full interchange between Interstate 76/Interstate 295/NJ 42 constructed in the first place?


--- Quote from: The Ghostbuster on November 27, 2023, 06:21:06 PM ---Why wasn't a full interchange between Interstate 76/Interstate 295/NJ 42 constructed in the first place?

--- End quote ---
In the 1950s full interchanges were omitted wherever convenient. See I-295 south of there for more examples.


--- Quote from: The Ghostbuster on November 27, 2023, 06:21:06 PM ---Why wasn't a full interchange between Interstate 76/Interstate 295/NJ 42 constructed in the first place?

--- End quote ---

A long answer - and one that can best be construed as an estimated example of what happened, because to be frank, most of the people involved in the design of the original interchange are dead and what's publicly available doesn't dive into the actual decision making that was done.

From what I can picture, there was a sense at the time that the great majority of traffic was coming up from south of the interchange, going towards Philadelphia.  The Ben Franklin Bridge was there.  The Walt Whitman Bridge just opened.  The Commodore Barry Bridge *wasn't* there.  295 was built to lead people to Philly, and to bring people back from Philly.  Thus, the whole express and local lane configuration.  And the former combined merges with 295 and Local I-76, rather than creating separate on and off ramps.

It wasn't imagined that motorists coming up from the south would want to get to Rt. 45 and Rt. 47 in significant volumes.  They could use 130 for that (and even then it wasn't a direct drive; 130 North leads traffic away from Rt. 45, and requires a u-turn to get to Rt. 45).  Rt. 42 was a relatively late addition to the road network, but engineers appeared to share the same thought process - that motorists coming up 295 would want to go to Philly, and not need access to 42.  There were enough county roads to handle traffic, and other roads and widenings of existing roads would facilitate the east-west movements.

South Jersey, south of 76, grew.  A need to replace the 322 Chester-Bridgeport Ferry occurred, and the Commodore Barry Bridge was built.  The region was growing, but road widenings were tempering.  Suburb-to-suburb commuting was growing at a faster rate than suburb-to-city traffic.

But all along, the directional interchanges on 295 remained and the mess of the 295/76/42 interchange existed.  The residential population that had already been there, which of itself had some significant history, was carved thru for the new highway.  A large cemetary also existed in the area (in fact, I have grandparents buried there). The original interchange, already shoehorned into the area, meant little room was available to easily resolve the problem.  The resulting change to the main interchange that's still ongoing took out some homes, but relatively few for the area. 

The Missing Moves ramps didn't result in any residential takings, but some commercial properties were acquired. There was one large company trying to build a shopping center that had some significant sway in the project, and caused about a 15 year delay.  And they're still complaining, which is one of the reasons why NJDOT is looking at building a Leaf Ave extension to Creek Road to service traffic going to and from Rt. 42 from Creek Road.

So that's a very basic, high-level view of what happened 70 years ago, and how we got to where we are today. 


--- Quote from: bzakharin on November 21, 2023, 03:58:47 PM ---
--- Quote from: roadman65 on November 20, 2023, 10:21:40 AM ---
If NJDOT owned this sign, there would be a TO US 6 shield next to I-384 EAST being I-384 don’t do directly to Providence.

Goes to show how bad engineers in the Garden State have evolved in signing techniques.

--- End quote ---
NJDOT probably wouldn't sign Providence there at all, since it's out of state and not right on the state line.

--- End quote ---
I say that cause of this here not signing I-195 to Trenton without a Route 29 shield because NJDOT has our very own Highwaystar’s mentality.  I-70 don’t end in Baltimore so don’t use Baltimore on I-70. I-195 don’t end in Trenton, but continuing NJ 29 does go there so co-sign it with a transitional TO.

Thought I had posted this, but I guess I didn't. NJDOT finally completed the last bits of the Exit 21A ramp repairs from 287 NB to 78 EB. This was around 3 weeks ago. All barriers are removed, and the ramp is back to its original (reconstructed) configuration of two lanes, with hopefully no more sinkholes in its future.


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