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Route 23 Sussex Borough Realignment


Fequently Asked Questions


Q.
Why is this work necessary?
A.
The congested conditions during peak travel periods, concentrated at the existing S-curve located in the downtown area of Sussex Borough have caused the deterioration of the overall traffic flow and operational conditions making traffic movements more difficult and contributing to increased travel flow interruptions and reduced speeds.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) recommended solution is the proposed Route 23 Realignment. The NJDOT’s proposed Smart Solutions alternative will provide operational and safety improvements with the implementation of a one-way couple roadway system utilizing existing Route 23 for northbound traffic only and providing a new alignment for Route 23 southbound traffic. The new Route 23 southbound alignment will extend from the existing intersection of Route 23 and Lower Unionville Road to the intersection of Walling Avenue and Loomis Avenue (Existing Route 23) and will mostly follow the existing right of way of Walling Avenue.

The existing bridge carrying Route 23 over the Papakating Creek and an abandoned rail line in Wantage Township is in poor condition. This structure, constructed in 1940, is considered structurally deficient because of the poor condition of the substructure and bridge deck and needs replacement. This bridge will be reconstructed as part of the project.
 
Q.
When will construction begin and when will it be completed?
A.
The project is currently in the Final Design Phase. Construction is anticipated to begin in July 2012 and is scheduled be completed in November 2014.
 
Q.
How much will it cost and who will fund it?
A.
The preliminary construction cost is estimated to be 25.3 million dollars. The project will be funded by State and Federal dollars. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is also seeking Federal TIGER II Grants to fund the construction project.
 
Q.
Will Route 23 be closed during construction? How will construction be staged?
A.
Route 23 will be open for traffic during construction. Construction will be done in two Stages.

Stage 1, the proposed Route 23 southbound roadway (Walling Avenue) will be reconstructed from Lower Unionville Road to the Loomis Avenue intersection. At the bridge over Papakating Creek, the east side of the bridge will be reconstructed while maintaining two 11 foot lanes (one in each direction) on the west side of the existing bridge.

Stage 2, Route 23 southbound traffic will be diverted to the newly constructed Route 23 southbound (Walling Avenue). The existing Route 23 (Hamburg Avenue) will be reconstructed while maintaining northbound traffic. At the bridge over Papakating Creek, the west side of the existing bridge will be reconstructed while maintaining two 11 foot lanes on the newly constructed east side of the bridge.
 
Q.
Will there be increased noise or pollution to the area during construction?
A.
The contract documents will require the construction contractor to conform to all Federal and State laws and Department of Environmental Protection regulations. Soil erosion and sediment control measures will be provided during construction. The contractor will be required to adhere to all local noise ordinances during construction.
 
Q.
Will there be construction work at night?
A.
Night construction work is not anticipated in this project. Construction hours will be specified to minimize disruption to the traveling public.
 
Q.
What work will be done in Borough of Sussex?
A.
The project limits in the Borough of Sussex extend from the vicinity of Grove Street to Newton Avenue. The work includes improvements to Loomis Avenue and East Main Street (Route 284) intersections, traffic signal reconstruction, pavement reconstruction, utility relocation and drainage improvements including the construction of a detention basin. Architectural treatments such as brick pavers on sidewalks and random ashlar stone finish on retaining walls will be provided at the Main Street, Loomis Avenue intersection.
 
Q.
What work will be done in Township of Wantage?
A.
The project limits in the Township of Wantage extends from Lewisburg Road to the vicinity of Grove Street. The construction work includes the reconstruction of the bridge over Papakating Creek, improvements to Lower Unionville Road intersection, traffic signal reconstruction, pavement reconstruction, utility relocation and drainage improvements including the construction of a detention basin. A new bridge will also be constructed to carry proposed Route 23 southbound over existing freshwater wetlands.
 
Q.
How will the project benefit pedestrians and bicyclists?
A.
The project will be bicycle and pedestrian friendly. A new sidewalk will be constructed along proposed Route 23 southbound from Loomis Avenue to Lewisburg Road. Handicap ramps and cross walks will be provided at all intersections.
 
Q.
Will there be any safety-related improvements?
A.
Yes, by separating traffic flows using a one-way couple roadway system, the number of traffic incidents along the Route 23 corridor will be significantly reduced. Conversion of the S-curve to one-way operation will provide a larger roadway width for vehicles to negotiate the curve and will eliminate incidences of crashes related to oncoming traffic. The introduction of full shoulders along Route 23 will further enhance safety, not only for turning traffic, but also for traffic entering the travel-way.

The project will also reconstruct the bridge over Papakating Creek which is classified as structurally deficient. The existing pavement will be reconstructed and restriped. Guiderails will be provided where needed.
 
Q.
What are the environmental elements?
A.
Environmental issues that will influence the design include wetlands, flood hazard areas, hazardous materials, noise and air pollution, archaeology, and socioeconomic studies. The Environmental Revaluation for the project is available for download (pdf 228k).
 
Q.
How will local air quality be affected by the proposed improvements?
A.
The focus of Route 23 realignment project is on safety and improved traffic flow. This means that the idling of vehicles in traffic will be reduced; the overall effect should be a decrease the air pollution in the area.
 
Q.
Will any businesses or residences need to be acquired or relocated in order to complete the proposed improvements?
A.
The project will require parcel fee takes and easements from 28 properties. This includes nine entire takes of which five have already been acquired by the state.
 
Q.
What affect will the project have on livability?
A.
Livability (being able to live, work, and have recreation within the community) will be improved by the addition of sidewalks and bicycle compatible shoulders. These additions will allow non-motorized connections within the community.
 
Q.
How can I participate in the development of this project?
A.
NJDOT encourages community members to voice their concerns and contribute suggestions to the Project Team. To provide input, contact:

Deborah Hirt
Office of Community Relations
NJ Department of Transportation
1035 Parkway Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08625
(609) 530-2110
 
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  August 19, 2010