Big news for NJ drivers
There is good news to report for drivers using the Atlantic City Freeway. No, the tolls aren’t going down – but it’s the best thing to do.
Plans are officially underway to widen the stretch of roadway between Winslow Township and Highway 42 from two to three lanes.
But don’t set your cruise control yet.
As reported by NJ.com, the project, which will cost around $180 million, is currently in a preliminary design phase with groundbreaking expected in 2024.
In its initial announcement earlier this year, the South Jersey Transportation Authority said:
The project will add a third eastbound and westbound lane and will include upgrading two bridges on Highway 42 and two bridges over the Great Egg Harbor River, as well as widening and reconstructing 16 culverts along the project road.
Construction of the Atlantic City Freeway began in the summer of 1962 and was completed in 1965. The total cost of the 44-mile freeway was just under $40 million.
According to phillyroads.com, the freeway was widened in each direction between Atlantic City and Exit 7/Garden State Parkway, and eastbound only between Exits 31 and 7, in the mid-2000s. Westbound lanes have expanded between exits 7 and 31 in 2014.
The stretch of road between Route 42 and Winslow Township has been two lanes since the road opened 60 years ago.
Clearly, South Jersey has grown tremendously over the past six decades.
To respond to needs
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation and chair of the board of directors of the South Jersey Transportation Authority, said: “It reduces traffic, relieves the congestion and provides a coastal escape route. Adding a third lane in each direction ensures the road meets needs.”
An estimated schedule calls for preliminary engineering through 2023, a final design phase from 2023 to 2024, and then construction in 2025 and 2026.
Works at the other end of Route 42
And in case you were wondering, if the freeway is widened by 2026, work still won’t be complete at the other end of Route 42. The massive construction project at 42 and Interstate 295 is expected to be completed in 2027.
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