NJDOT announces Route 322 improvements
Project will address Mullica Hill Pond Dam, bridge over Raccoon Creek and other deficiencies along Gloucester County-owned section of highway
(Trenton) - The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) today announced the beginning of a project to upgrade the existing Mullica Hill Pond dam and replace the Route 322 bridge over the dam spillway and Raccoon Creek in Harrison, Gloucester County.
On Tuesday, February 19, NJDOT’s contractor, South State, Inc., is scheduled to begin initial construction operations - while utility relocation work begins simultaneously - which will require the full closure and detour of Route 322 between Route 45 and the Mullica Hill Bypass from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day next week (through Friday, February 22). Motorists will be detoured to the adjacent Mullica Hill Bypass during these hours.
As construction operations advance, periodic day and nighttime traffic shifts will be necessary, maintaining all available travel lanes on the highway during peak period travel hours. The construction of the dam and bridge will be performed with a full detour, utilizing the recently completed Route 322 bypass. Access to all businesses along Main Street will remain open. The detour will shorten the overall construction schedule, provide a safer construction zone, and reduce the overall project cost.
The purpose of the $8.1 million project is to bring the dam up to the requirements of the Safe Dam Act, constructing a new spillway capable of handling water flow from a ‘100 year storm event’ without the dam overtopping. The new spillway will feature a gate to control low level water release. To prevent dam failure during potential overtopping storm events greater than the ‘100 year storm event’, steel sheeting will be installed underground along the dam adjacent to Route 322.
NJDOT will also replace the structurally-deficient Route 322 bridge over the dam spillway and improve the substandard geometry of the western approach roadway 322 to improve sight distance. A portion of the Route 322 profile will be raised and the existing roadway drainage inlets, pipes, and outfalls will be upgraded. A new NJDEP Fish, Game and Wildlife fish ladder will be installed in the dam.
Route 322 will be repaved along the entire length of the dam. The project - will improve public access to Mullica Hill Pond for passive recreation - is scheduled for completion in spring 2015.
In late-2008, NJDOT reached a jurisdictional transfer agreement with Gloucester County, returning jurisdiction of Route 322 between mileposts 8.46 and 15.2 and mileposts 17.4 and 17.5 to the county. The Department had advanced this project into design prior to the jurisdictional agreement, and therefore remained the lead-agency for the dam and bridge improvements.
Motorists are also encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website for construction updates and real-time travel information.