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I-295/I-76/Route 42 Direct Connection



Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Why is this work necessary?
A: Presently the I-295, I-76 and Route 42 interchange does not provide a distinct and separate direct connection for I-295 through traffic. The existing configuration of the interchange requires motorists to reduce speed in both the northbound and southbound directions of I-295 so that they can safely negotiate ramps with 35 mph speed limits.

Exacerbating the problem is the fact that drivers traveling through the interchange on I-295 must also contend with vehicles entering from Route 42 and from I-76, necessitating dangerous weaving movements.

As a major carrier of Philadelphia commuter traffic via the Walt Whitman Bridge and a connection to the southern New Jersey shore via Route 42 and the Atlantic City Expressway, this interchange is the busiest in the region.
   
Q. How is emergency access being addressed throughout the
I-295, I-76 and Route 42 project area?
A: The safety and security of highway users is a paramount goal of NJDOT. This project is based on the need to improve safety conditions. Through the addition of closed circuit TV's (CCTV) throughout the project, emergency response times should be improved and is currently being coordinated with local municipalities.
  
Q. How will local air quality be affected by the proposed improvements?
A: Since the focus of I-295, I-76 and Route 42 improvements is on safety and improved access, traffic flow will be improved. Because traffic flow will improve and the occurrences of vehicles idling in congested traffic will be reduced, the overall effect should be a decrease in air pollution.
  
Q.What are the environmental elements that influenced the design?
A: Environmental concerns that influenced the design included wetlands, noise and air quality, possible hazardous materials in adjacent land or water, archaeology, historic buildings or structures and socioeconomic considerations.
   
Q. Are noise walls or other sound barriers part of the plan?
A: Noise studies have been conducted and noise wall locations have been identified. Each of the three towns passed resolutions supporting the noise walls. A total of over 15,000 feet of new and reconstructed noise walls are being constructed.
   
Q. Will any businesses or residences need to be acquired or relocated in order to complete the proposed improvements?
A: Fifteen residences and one business are impacted. Meetings have been held with impacted residents, businesses and public organizations as part of the ROW acquisition process which began in Spring 2011.
   
Q. What is the ROW acquisition process?
A: All relocations are conducted pursuant to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies for Federal and Federally Assisted Programs Act of 1970, as amended in the Federal Uniform Relocation Act Amendment, effective March 2, 1989 (Chapter 50, New Jersey Public Laws of 1989). This law is designed to ensure the prompt and equitable relocation of persons displaced as a result of the implementation of federally funded projects. Relocation resources are available to all residential and business without discrimination.
   
Q. How much will it cost and who will pay for it?
A: The estimated cost of this project is $900 million, which includes Right of Way (ROW), utility relocations, design and construction inspection.
   
Q. What is the schedule?
A: The construction of this project began in 2013 and is scheduled to be concluded by 2023 pending right of way availability and funding.
   
Q. What are the hours of construction?
A: Construction hours are specified to minimize disruption to the traveling public. However, night work is required to minimize disruption to daily traffic and meet the construction schedule.
   
Q. Why doesn't NJDOT do all the construction work at night when traffic is lightest?
A:

A major portion of construction is performed at night. However, that's not always the best option. For example:

  • It is often safer for drivers and workers if crews complete some types of construction activities during the day, when visibility is better.
  • It takes a significant amount of time to safely set up and break down a construction work zone on a highway. It can also take a significant number of hours to set up heavy construction equipment and supplies. When construction crews are limited to overnight work, this increases the work hours spent on these activities and limits productive work hours and extends the project timeline.
  • While nighttime traffic is lighter than daytime traffic, a substantial number of trucks carry freight at night, this could affect trucking schedules.
   
Q. Will I-295, I-76 or Route 42 be closed during construction?
A: No. Detailed traffic control plans were developed to maintain traffic and minimize disruption to the user.
   
Q. How will traffic be handled during construction?
A: Signs are placed along the highways to inform drivers of upcoming construction activity, lane shifts, lane closures, ramp closures and detours. NJDOT provides drivers with information about traffic changes or problems on this project web site and on the 511NJ Traveler Information web site.
   
Q. How often is road report information updated?
A: This project information web site is periodically updated to reflect changes in traffic patterns and closures. The 511NJ Traveler Information web site is a "real time" view of the traffic conditions and will have the most up-to-date daily information.
  
Q. When can I expect lane closures?
A: To minimize traffic impacts during "off-peak" times, partial lane closures on weekdays are done at night. During peak hours, which vary on each roadway from Monday to Friday from as early as 5 am to as late as 10 pm, the contractors are required to maintain existing lane capacity, unless special permission is granted from the NJDOT.
   
Q. How accurate are construction closure estimates? When does NJDOT know what highways will be closed?
A: Construction closure estimates become more accurate as the closure date approaches. As construction proceeds, contractors work closely with NJDOT staff on an ongoing basis to discuss estimated upcoming traffic impact and approaches. Even with all the advance planning and contingency planning, construction crews sometimes must adjust their traffic closures at the last second in response to unforeseen conditions such as weather. NJDOT works closely with the contractors during these situations.
   
Q. How will motorists be notified when work on certain parts of
I-295, I-76 and Route 42 affect their daily commute?
A: NJDOT uses Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), newspapers, radio, traffic reports and its web site to alert motorists.
   
Q. Will the work require detours of traffic onto local streets?
A: Detours are limited to ramps and local road closures during nights or weekends. Detour signs are posted along the route to properly direct traffic.
   
Q. Will there be increased noise or pollution to the area during construction?
A: The contract documents require the construction contractor to conform to all federal and state laws and regulations. This includes environmental regulations. Additional mitigation measures are implemented for construction equipment in the vicinity of residences.
  
Q. Will pedestrian routes be impacted by construction?
A: Yes. Temporary routes will enable pedestrians to bypass the bridge construction area. In other areas of construction on local roads, a minimum of one sidewalk is typically maintained for pedestrian access. A temporary pedestrian bridge has been constructed over Route 42 during the Creek Road bridge replacement.
   
Q. What is ground improvement?
A:

New bridges, walls and elevated roadways require strengthening of the existing soil conditions beneath them so that large settlements can be avoided in the future. Ground improvement is a technique for strengthening the existing soils in place and reduce the construction time.

On this project, this will involve installing concrete grout columns in the ground below the bridge/wall foundations and elevated roadways. The underground columns of hardened concrete grout and improved soil conditions support the proposed construction.

   
Q. What is the difference between "temporary" and "interim"?
A:

On this project, "temporary" means short duration use, only for a specific contract, then removed at contract conclusion. "Interim" means semi-permanent duration, use extending beyond original construction to one or more subsequent contracts. Neither temporary or interim elements are part of the ultimate improvements.

   
Q. How can I stay informed about the project?
A: Project information can be obtained on this NJDOT web site or the Transportation Management Association (TMA) Cross County Connection web site. Traffic information can be obtained on the 511NJ Traveler Information web site.
   
Q. Will there be a web cam?
A: NJDOT provides live coverage at this intersection on its web site with cameras at Route 76 and Route 42. Additional CCTV locations are provided during each construction contract.
   
Q.

How can I participate in the development of this project?

A:

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) encourages community members to voice their concerns and contribute suggestions to the Project Team. To provide input or attend one of the many project meetings, contact:

New Jersey Department of Transportation
1035 Parkway Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08625
609.530.2110
fix.295@dot.nj.gov
   
 
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  Last Updated:  April 19, 2016