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Author Topic: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction  (Read 165568 times)

PHLBOS

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #75 on: April 10, 2013, 01:27:10 PM »

Philly.com, which has an excellent inventory of older newspaper articles, indicates the construction occurred from 1989-1992 (originally scheduled for 88-91).
I'm assuming that construction project included land clearing, utility relocating & site demolition in the widened right-of-way which likely took place towards the beginning of construction.

As I stated earlier, when I was driving along that stretch of I-295 in mid-1990 (mainly for apartment hunting), the major construction hadn't yet directly impacted the mainline travel lanes.  Most of the construction at the time was along the sides.  OTOH, by 1991 the major reconstruction of the actual roadway itself was going full steam.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #76 on: April 15, 2013, 10:22:23 AM »

295/76/42 rebuild shows signs of blooming in the Spring. Play Ball!

http://www.gloucestercitynews.net/clearysnotebook/2013/04/meandering-w-mark-matthews-2957642-rebuild-shows-signs-of-blooming-in-the-spring-play-ball.html

Plenty of good pictures of the beginning stages of construction.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #77 on: April 16, 2013, 02:21:43 PM »

So...an update from my perspective of what's been done over the 1st month or so of construction:

Shoulders on 295 around the 35 mph curves are being removed and reconstructed just a little bit wider.  This will probably be related to lane shifts during the project.  A bridge height warning has also been posted over the shoulder for 295 SB traffic underneath I-76 (Left lane is 14'2", right lane is 13'9", right shoulder is barely tall enough at 13'7").

A number of trees have been removed along 295 South as it veers away from Rt. 42, clearly exposing the ballfields and buildings that sat just off I-295. Pictures are posted in my previous reply above.

A small portion of sound barrier was removed from 295 North.  "Sound Test" has been spraypainted on the adjacent sound barrier wall. 

A small area was cleared away along I-76 West for construction vehicles to park. 

So far...that's about all. 
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Alps

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #78 on: April 16, 2013, 06:09:06 PM »

So...an update from my perspective of what's been done over the 1st month or so of construction:

Shoulders on 295 around the 35 mph curves are being removed and reconstructed just a little bit wider.  This will probably be related to lane shifts during the project.  A bridge height warning has also been posted over the shoulder for 295 SB traffic underneath I-76 (Left lane is 14'2", right lane is 13'9", right shoulder is barely tall enough at 13'7").

A number of trees have been removed along 295 South as it veers away from Rt. 42, clearly exposing the ballfields and buildings that sat just off I-295. Pictures are posted in my previous reply above.

A small portion of sound barrier was removed from 295 North.  "Sound Test" has been spraypainted on the adjacent sound barrier wall. 

A small area was cleared away along I-76 West for construction vehicles to park. 

So far...that's about all. 
I'm foreseeing a Philly Meet next year...

jpi

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #79 on: April 16, 2013, 11:12:24 PM »

Ditto Steve! If I am in central PA at the time, should be doable for me! :-)
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PHLBOS

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #80 on: April 17, 2013, 12:24:23 PM »

I'm foreseeing a Philly Meet next year...
Looking forward to it; especially since it's literally in my backyard so to speak.  :sombrero:
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #81 on: April 17, 2013, 12:51:10 PM »

Hopefully there's something to see.  At the very least, it'll be a "this is what it looks like now...and come back in a few years to see what it looks like then". 
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Alps

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #82 on: April 17, 2013, 06:32:30 PM »

Hopefully there's something to see.  At the very least, it'll be a "this is what it looks like now...and come back in a few years to see what it looks like then". 

To be monitored. May take 2 years to get the good stuff going like new overpasses.

elsmere241

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #83 on: April 20, 2013, 10:44:26 PM »

I'm foreseeing a Philly Meet next year...
Looking forward to it; especially since it's literally in my backyard so to speak.  :sombrero:

And mine (almost).  I might be able to escape for a Saturday or something.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #84 on: April 23, 2013, 03:15:10 PM »

I'm foreseeing a Philly Meet next year...
Looking forward to it; especially since it's literally in my backyard so to speak.  :sombrero:

So, is your backyard now exposed to the highway due to the missing sound barriers??
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BrianP

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #85 on: May 03, 2013, 10:16:36 AM »

High court refuses Bellmawr cemetery hearing
http://www.courierpostonline.com/proart/20130503/news01/305030025?pagerestricted=1
Quote
The state Supreme Court said Thursday it will not hear a legal challenge to the use of eminent domain at New St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bellmawr.
Quote
The DOT is acquiring the land as part of its Direct Connection project, which is intended to improve traffic flow at the confluence of Route 42 and Interstates 76 and 295. The parcel contains no graves, a diocesan spokesman has said.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 10:21:24 AM by BrianP »
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #86 on: May 07, 2013, 09:30:33 AM »

http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2013/05/bellmawr_residents_close_to_i-.html

"Bellmawr residents close to I-295, I-76 overhaul describe 'nightmare' construction"

To give a quick background that the story left out - the soundwalls were installed about 14 - 15 years ago.  I remember the project well...I started my current job 14 1/2 years ago, and my 3rd day on the job, a crane installing the sound wall flipped over on 295, causing major traffic issues. 

So over those past 14 years, the people on the other side of the sound barrier have lived life pretty good, considering that a interchange handling nearly 300,000 vehicles daily is mere feet away. 

And due to that traffic, lanes can't be closed during the day, so nighttime is when the majority of the traffic will occur, even though it's going to be a big inconvenience for those that live in the many houses nearby.

I do disagree with the assertion that the project won't benefit them though, even if they don't drive a vehicle.  There's a lot of congestion on the local roads due to people avoiding the interchange, especially during rush hour.  The new interchange will keep people on the highways, and off the local streets.  And that benefits the local residents as well as those traveling thru on the highways.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #87 on: May 15, 2013, 01:02:18 PM »

Over the past month…

More trees have been removed along where 42/295 North multiplex, and along 295 South.  Trees have been removed as well between 295 South and the ramp for 295 South from 76 West.  295 South traffic is now utilizing the right lane and shoulder as they enter the Aljo curve, underneath I-76.  Paving on a slightly new alignment at the Exit 26 ‘Point’ for I-76 West will again change slightly the traffic movement for I-295 South traffic in the near future.  Temporary barriers have been installed in various locations on the left and right shoulders for various upcoming construction activities.

Nearly all the soundwall along 42 North & 295 North has been removed.

Off the interchange, new ground-mounted variable message signs have been installed in the median on Rt. 42.  Overhead variable message signs are ready to be mounted on I-295 North near Exit 22, and I-295 South near Exit 28.  New traffic lights and related hardware continue to be installed along NJ 168 & US 130.

Both NJ 168 projects – the Intersection improvement at Benigno Blvd & the new bridge deck over I-295, are nearly complete, with some repaving of the roadway approaching I-295 being the most major of the final items to finish up.

Temporary Variable Message signs along NJ 42, 55, I-676 & I-295 are in use.  The signs on 42 & 55 display the time to I-295 & Walt (Whitman Bridge); the signs on 76 & 676 display times to 295, 55 and/or the AC Expressway.  I’ve noticed the times to I-295 seem to be a bit off in both directions – going North on 42 & 55, one would need to do about 90 mph to reach the destination within the stated time; on 676 South, one could ride a bicycle to reach the destination based on the time.  My thinking is the point used for I-295 must be a bit off.  The signs on I-295 don’t display a time, but rather a message that says traffic is slow for 2 miles, or stopped for 5 miles, or similar.  And it’s unclear if it means 2 mile sahead, or next 2 miles.  From what I’ve seen on the signs versus what I experience while driving, they aren’t really matching up with actual conditions.  When there are no delays, the signs are blank.  Permanent VMS signs are now used on I-295 to display the “minutes to” for various destinations on the entire 67 mile highway…they tend to be fairly accurate, within a few minutes +/-.

Unusual is the fact that the reduced speed limit signs, commonly found anywhere near a construction zone, still haven’t been posted.  The poles were mounted long ago, but the signs were left off. 

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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #88 on: June 27, 2013, 09:00:09 AM »

The construction update for the past 40 days or so…

Tree removal continues, although that has slowed down as most of the land required for this contract has been cleared. Much of the sound wall along where 295 & 42 meet has been removed.  A very small section (about 6 panels wide) remains. Plans available online indicate that portion of sound wall may be part of the permanent sound wall in the new configuration…and may also indicate they are reusing sound wall panels that were previously removed.

Lane shifts are now utilized for 295 North on the 35 mph curve down towards Rt. 42, and on 295 South in the Aljo curve.  About ¾ of the jersey barrier between 42 South & 295 South has been removed, replaced with either a temporary jersey barrier or orange barrels.

Land has been cleared around the Bell Rd overpass (just south of Rt. 168), and a lot of construction activity is taking place in the 295 median in the vicinity of Bell Rd.  Shortly, construction to replace that bridge will take place.  Traffic will utilize a single lane of the bridge, with temporary traffic lights controlling the flow across the bridge.

Speed Limits were finally reduced around the construction project area in late May, nearly 2 months after construction started.  I-76 & Rt. 42 dropped from 55 mph to a 45 mph speed limit.  I-295 North briefly drops from 65 to 50 before slowing down to 45 mph.  I-295 South drops from 55 mph to 45 mph.  The 35 mph speed limit on the 295 curves remains as is.

Construction of new traffic lights continues on Rt. 168 & US 130.  It appears in addition to the optical camera sensors, there’s a white box on many of the traffic light arms, as if it’s some sort of doppler radar or other traffic detection system.  The projects on Rt. 168 at Benigno Blvd & at 295 are complete.
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SteveG1988

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #89 on: June 27, 2013, 05:33:02 PM »

Jeffandnicole, how bad are the lane shifts, are they abrupt or do they feel normal?
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Alps

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #90 on: June 27, 2013, 06:48:00 PM »


Construction of new traffic lights continues on Rt. 168 & US 130.  It appears in addition to the optical camera sensors, there’s a white box on many of the traffic light arms, as if it’s some sort of doppler radar or other traffic detection system.  The projects on Rt. 168 at Benigno Blvd & at 295 are complete.

My guess as to the white box is a transmitter to keep the signals coordinated.

jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #91 on: June 28, 2013, 09:06:37 AM »

Jeffandnicole, how bad are the lane shifts, are they abrupt or do they feel normal?

Currently, they feel normal.  NB is a gentle 1 lane shift, Left lane to right lane; right lane to right shoulder.  SB, as one enters the Aljo curve, the lanes shift left first onto new pavement then shift right to the right lane/shoulder.  Ignoring the obvious construction equipment and barriers, someone not familiar with the area would barely notice them.  The worst of it may be the 295 lane shift after meeting with 42 North/76 West, as it reduced by 100 feet or so the area where one can merge between the two roadways.


My guess as to the white box is a transmitter to keep the signals coordinated.

I've seen transmitter boxes as well (they have a small antenna sticking out of them).

I'll try to take a few pics of the equipment on the masts and poles at the traffic lights. Even on other NJ roadways where they utilize an adaptive traffic control system, I've never seen the white.
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J Route Z

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #92 on: June 29, 2013, 01:59:26 PM »

Is this really going to be complete by 2020?   :hmmm:
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #93 on: June 29, 2013, 04:10:54 PM »

2 picks of the white boxes.  The 1st one shows it's location on a traffic light mast.  Many intersections they're off to one side, even along the curb.  And then I've seen some in the median. It appears some do have a small antenna sticking out underneath them.  I wasn't able to get a picture of another box I've seen on the poles as well.

The camera you see in the picture as well is the optical traffic sensor camera.



This one is a closer view of them - the 2 back to back will be on US 130 South (the roadway is split at this intersection); the other one is facing Market St in Gloucester City.

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #94 on: July 01, 2013, 07:54:06 PM »

2 picks of the white boxes.  The 1st one shows it's location on a traffic light mast.  Many intersections they're off to one side, even along the curb.  And then I've seen some in the median. It appears some do have a small antenna sticking out underneath them.  I wasn't able to get a picture of another box I've seen on the poles as well.

The camera you see in the picture as well is the optical traffic sensor camera.



This one is a closer view of them - the 2 back to back will be on US 130 South (the roadway is split at this intersection); the other one is facing Market St in Gloucester City.


If those aren't for transmitting coordination between signals, I'll eat Thomas Jefferson.

jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #95 on: July 01, 2013, 08:37:01 PM »

In most cases, there are only two boxes, and they are facing 130 (or along 168, facing 168).  In the example above in Gloucester City, there's about 200' or so of Market Street in between 130 North and South.  Thus, I guess, the reason for the 3rd box to either 'talk' with the other intersection or sense traffic.

If it helps any, here's the bid tabulation from the NJDOT website for this project.  http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/business/procurement/ConstrServ/documents/BidTabs12123.pdf  Take a look at page 9, which appears to refer to the various traffic control devices used for this project.  It's one of the line items with multiple quantities, as these boxes are located at every controlled intersection within the project limits.

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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #96 on: July 10, 2013, 08:05:03 PM »

A few pics...

Just installed signage in the median on 295 South.  The 2 signs in the median are separate, with the 295/42 sign slightly behind the other angled towards the right lanes. Note this is one of NJ's first (if not the first) use of the Yellow "Left" plate along with the Exit # on the exit tab.  The older signage on the Bell Rd. overpass will be removed as the overpass will be demolished and replaced shortly.



The Aljo Curve, with traffic utilizing the right lane/right shoulder.  The 42 South 1/2 Mile ahead sign is in the distance.



This lane shift occurred this week, pushing the 295 South lanes over to the left (the former alignment is seen to the right).  The current right lane is about where the jersey barrier was located separating 42 South from 295 South (under the skip line was the solid white line for 42 South, which you can see has been sandblasted away).  The signs above are now greatly mis-aligned compared to the roadway below.  The right lane is still for 295 South only; the left lane still splits for 42 South & 295 South.

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NJRoadfan

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #97 on: July 10, 2013, 11:25:15 PM »

Rounded BGS corners in NJ, what a concept. I was through here last weekend, but heading north. Not much to see in that direction aside from tree removal.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #98 on: July 12, 2013, 09:04:38 AM »

http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/about/press/2013/071113dc.shtm

I-76 East (aka Route 42 South) Exit 1A to be closed this weekend.

This is the Left Lane Exit Ramp coming from the Philly bridges via I-76 East to I-295 South.  The problem will be the detour possibilities are all traditional right-side exits, which will mean a lot of people needing to cross 4 - 5 lanes of traffic to utilize the detour.  The 2 posted detours will both involve making your way to I-295 North, then use Exit 28 (NJ 168) to make a u-turn to access I-295 South. 

Other than the first lane shift in the Aljo curve and this ramp closure, NJDOT has been quiet when it comes to advanced notice of lane shifts - no advanced media notice, and not even any advanced sign notice!  Generally, motorists just come upon them as they travel thru the area.
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seicer

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Re: NJ - 295/76/42 Direct Connection Construction
« Reply #99 on: July 12, 2013, 09:33:33 AM »

Those white boxes are traffic signal preemption devices.
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