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

Final Design and Construction

The I-295/I-76/Route 42 Interchange project is currently in Final Design and Construction. Construction began in March 2013 and will continue until 2023. The project has been divided into four construction contracts. The first and second of four major construction contracts are under construction. The second, third and fourth construction contracts are in the Final Design Phase.

The construction includes a total of 10 new bridges, one bridge widening, one bridge rehabilitation and two temporary bridge structures. A total of 22 retaining walls, over 40 new sign structures and a total of over 15,000 feet of noise walls are included.

Over 750 soil borings have been taken along with 29 utility test pits. In addition, a detailed analysis of streams and roadway drainage for the improvements has also been performed. Numerous construction staging schemes have been developed to maintain traffic while construction is performed. New lighting, signing and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) facilities have also been developed.

An additional Advance ITS Contract benefitting the region is also part of the improvements. The purpose of the ITS contract is to put in place and make operational several ITS devices and communication systems to have available during construction of the I-295/I-76/Route 42 Direct Connection project. The ITS Contract is substantially complete as of Summer 2015. Since the interchange project will impact communication connections for the New Jersey Department of Transportation's (NJDOT) statewide ITS network, the ITS contract will help ensure functional integrity and continuity of the roadway system and give NJDOT a wider range of capabilities to manage traffic in Camden and Gloucester counties during the construction of the I-295/I-76/Route 42 Direct Connection project. Adaptive traffic signal systems are deployed on Route 168 and Route 130 (arterial routes parallel to I-295, I-76 and Route 42) to help maintain the efficiency of existing traffic signals, where drivers on I-295, I-76 or Route 42 might choose to divert due to construction or an incident within the interchange. The improvements include the Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) and travel time readers. A DMS is an electronic traffic sign used on roadways to give travelers information about special events, traffic conditions, roadwork zones and speed limits. Travel Time Readers are equipment to determine the time necessary to move between any points of interest. This information helps to determine delays and more importantly to react to problems more quickly.

The Advanced ITS contract includes:

  • Temporary communications for impacted facilities
  • Seven DMS
  • Two portable DMS
  • Numerous Travel Time Readers
  • Adaptive Signal Control on Route 130 and Route 168 corridors

The four construction contracts have been developed based on the sequence of construction required and create contract values which create competition among bidders. The Final Design phase consisted of the preparation of detailed plans and specifications required to advertise the project.

One of the greatest challenges is developing a construction staging scheme which limits the impacts on the motorist traveling through the interchange. Detailed plans that shift traffic with appropriate signing and striping are developed. The three local roads that cross over I-295 or Route 42 (Creek Road, Browning Road and Bell Road) are built in stages, so vehicular and pedestrian traffic will be maintained at all times. Another challenge is the significant amount of compressible soils found through soil boring investigations. Special designs were needed to address settlement concerns.

Right of Way (ROW)
A total of 29 properties required full or partial acquisitions and/or easements, in addition to 15 residential displacements. Of these 15 residential displacements, 12 are located within the Bellmawr Park Mutual Housing Corporation. Replacement housing for those 12 properties is to be located on vacant land within Bellmawr Park. The Bellmawr Park Mutual Housing Corporation acquisitions have been conducted in two stages - property needed for Construction Contract 1 and then property needed for Construction Contract 3. For Construction Contract 1, the acquisition was for improvements along Fir Place. All of the residential acquisition is required for Construction Contract 3. One business acquisition (Seas Towing) and a Green Acres diversion on the Bellmawr Baseball property was necessary for the improvements. Appropriate regulations are followed for all the acquisitions. ROW negotiations/acquisitions are 90% complete except for a few parcels needed for Contract 3.

Below is a list and description of the permits necessary for the completion of this project.

Permit Description
United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Section 404 Individual Wetlands Permit This USACE permit is required for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands. A Section 404 Individual Wetlands Permit Application has been prepared to outline the approximate impacts to wetlands and waters under federal jurisdiction. Details on specific construction impacts were submitted and a provisional permit was issued.
USACE Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act Permit This Act requires authorization from the USACE for the construction of any structure in or over any navigable water of the United States, the excavation/dredging or deposition of material in these waters or any obstruction or alteration in a navigable water. This permit is applied for and granted concurrently with the Section 404 permit.
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Section 401 Water Quality Certification Coordination is conducted through NJDEP as part of the freshwater wetland approval process.
NJDEP Freshwater Wetlands/Open Water Fill Individual Wetlands Permit This State permit is required prior to engaging in a regulated activity in and around state open waters, freshwater wetlands and associated transition areas.
NJDEP Coastal/Tidal Wetlands Permit This State permit is required prior to engaging in a regulated activity in and around mapped coastal wetlands according to the Wetlands Act of 1970.
NJDEP Tidelands Conveyance (Riparian Grant) Tidelands grants, leases and/or licenses are required for the use of State-owned riparian lands, which are lands presently, or formerly, covered by the mean high tide.
NJDEP Individual Waterfront Development Permit This permit is required for development at or below the mean high water line in tidal waters of the State and extends from the mean high water line to the first paved road, railroad or surveyable property line. At a minimum, the zone extends at least 100 feet, but no more than 500 feet, inland from the tidal water body.
NJDEP Stormwater Review NJDEP requires a permit for construction within and proximate to flood hazard areas to reduce flood damage to and from new development, and to protect the flood storage capacity and ecology of floodplains.
NJDEP Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit This permit is required by NJDEP for the discharge of wastewater associated with the proposed project, such as construction dewatering.
NJDEP Coastal Zone Management Program, Federal Consistency Certification The Federal Coastal Zone Management Act requires that Federal agency activities, including development projects directly affecting the coastal zone, must be consistent with approved State coastal management programs to the maximum extent practicable. New Jersey has a Coastal Zone Management Program, which would require a consistency certification.
NJDEP Treatment Works Approval NJDEP requires a permit for the construction of domestic wastewater collection, conveyance and treatment facilities, including treatment plants, pumping stations, interceptors, sewer mains and other collection, holding and conveyance systems to ensure that wastes are properly collected, conveyed and treated before discharge to the waters of the State.
NJDEP Bureau of Safe Drinking Water NJDEP requires a permit for the construction of water distribution system improvements such as water and transmission main extensions and/or replacement exceeding 3,000 feet, new residential services to more than 30 realty improvements, a new non-residential average demand of 12,000 gallons per day or greater and for any interconnection with another public community water system.

The NJDEP permits were obtained April 2012.

Utility facilities (including both aerial and underground) on local road bridges are to be relocated to the new bridges. A pump station for Bellmawr Sewer on Browning Road is being constructed. An 18 inch sanitary sewer that crosses Route 42 will also be relocated. Water main extensions into the interchange for fire protection are included as part of the improvements. For Bellmawr Park, utility facilities will be relocated to accommodate the new roadway pattern. Service disruptions are anticipated to be limited to a few hours when new tie-ins are made.

Noise walls
All three municipalities (Bellmawr, Mt. Ephraim and Gloucester City) passed resolutions supporting new and reconstructed noise walls. Improvements included 11,402 feet of new noise walls and 4,122 reconstructed noise walls. The Final Noise Wall maps (pdf 4.8m) shows the noise wall locations.

Photo simulations
Photo simulations in select areas have been developed depicting the "before" and "after" construction conditions. The photo simulations were advanced during the final design phase. Photo simulations areas impacted are as follows:

existing browning road photo
Browning Road looking east - existing conditions

proposed browning road photo
Browning Road looking east - proposed condition

existing browning road photo
Browning Road looking west - existing conditions

proposed browning road photo
Browning Road looking west - proposed condition

existing victory drive photo
Victory Drive looking southeast - existing conditions

proposed victory drive photo
Victory Drive looking southeast - proposed condition

existing essex avenue photo
Essex Avenue looking east - existing conditions

proposed essex aveue photo
Essex Avenue looking east - proposed condition

existing shining star park photo
Shining Star Park looking south - existing conditions

proposed shining star park photo
Shining Star Park looking south - proposed condition

proposed st. mary's cemetary photo
New St. Mary's Cemetery - proposed condition

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  Last Updated:  April 19, 2016