NJDOT Announces Reach The Beach
Effort To Combat Summer Traffic Congestion
Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein today joined state, county and local officials to kick off NJDOT's Reach the Beach summer travel effort to ease summer traffic congestion for motorists in Cumberland and Cape May counties through the use of smart highway technologies.
"We know that on weekends throughout the spring and summer, traffic is routinely congested on the Route 55 and 47 traffic corridors," Commissioner Weinstein said. "Working with the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO), we have developed and implemented a project to inform motorists of the delays and advise them of other routes to take. It's information that has not been available to motorists on these corridors in the past."
The concept of the project is to utilize smart highway technology to monitor traffic conditions and inform motorists of delays and other routes to travel. The project consists of:
--A permanent Variable Message Sign located on Route 55 southbound just prior to the exit for Route 40 in Franklin Township, Gloucester County.
--One portable ground-mounted Variable Message Sign on Route 55 southbound just prior to the exit for Route 49 in Millville City, Cumberland County.
--Five closed-circuit television cameras located along routes 55, 47 and 347 that are linked to NJDOT Traffic Operations Center in Cherry Hill.
"It's important that we make use of technology to help with our congestion problems," the Commissioner said. "And routes with seasonal traffic congestion will clearly benefit through these investments. It's a win-win not only for the thousands of commuters that flock to our great beaches, but it's an environmentally sound and relatively low-cost way to ensure that our highways remain safe and efficient."
The $250,000 project began last fall and was completed this spring. Along with officials of the STJPO, Weinstein credited NJDOT's Division of Operations with bringing this project to fruition.
The Department currently has seven projects at a total value of nearly $30 million prioritized in the Route 47 corridor over the next several years.
In addition to announcing the Reach the Beach summer travel effort, Commissioner Weinstein also said that NJDOT is suspending construction activities that impact traffic for the duration of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
"We are committed to doing everything we can to help motorists get to their destinations safely and with minimal disruption," the Commissioner said. "Beginning at noon Friday, May 25, all construction work that affects travel lanes on our highways will be suspended through the morning rush hour on Tuesday, May 29. Lane closures will only be permitted for emergency reasons."
The NJDOT will also be extending the hours of operation for its Emergency Service Patrols (ESP) on Friday, May 25, and Monday, May 28.
On I- 80, I-280 and I-287, ESP will operate from 4 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, and noon to 8:30 p.m. on Monday.
On I-295, NJ55, NJ42, and I-76/676, the hours of operation are from 4 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, and noon to 8:30 p.m. on Monday.