County & State Announce Major Improvements to Route 322 Corridor including Construction of a Bypass Road
(Harrison Twp., NJ) Gloucester County Freeholders and NJDOT Commissioner Kris Kolluri stood today in the heart of the county at the Route 322 corridor and announced a major improvement project to realign and redirect traffic on one of the most traveled areas from Pennsylvania to the Jersey Shore the Route US 322 corridor. The Route 322 corridor, a major east-west connector for Gloucester County, is a vital link for the State and interstate traffic and commerce. It is the main link from the Commodore Barry Bridge to Route 55 and a major recreational shore route.
The problems along this corridor a notorious and have been getting progressively worse, said Freeholder Director Sweeney. There have been many studies over the years to come up with a solution to the traffic quagmire that occurs here, but today we are announcing action. Gloucester County and the State have come together to invest in improvements to both the Richwood intersections of Route 322 and we are announcing today that we will construct a bypass road that will eliminate the 322 thru-traffic that clogs up Harrison and Mullica Hill, Director Sweeney said.
Sweeney said that by addressing both the Richwood section of Harrison Township, which is centered on the existing main artery of Route US 322 at two existing closely spaced signalized intersections, and the construction of a bypass to redirect through traffic that will run to the east of Mullica Hill, will eliminate the bottlenecking and basic failure that occurs at all of the intersections. The state and the county will share the costs of the improvements.
This is not only our connection in Gloucester County, but it is the connector to the Jersey Shore. By building this bypass and addressing the traffic concerns, we are improving the quality of life for our residents who are landlocked all summer long because they cant get down their street or do their shopping because of the shore traffic, Director Sweeney said.
"The Route 322 improvements will decrease congestion and increase safety and economic development in Gloucester County," said Commissioner Kolluri. "I look forward to working with NJDOT's partners in Gloucester County to transform today's congested Route 322 into a safer and more efficient regional roadway."
Freeholder Deputy Director Bob Damminger said, Traffic volumes exceed 22,000 vehicles per day during the summer season through Richwood and you can wait a long time to clear any of these intersections. This section of Route 322 has resulted in the highest number of accidents along this corridor in Gloucester County 63 in a two year period.
Gloucester Co. & NJDOT Announce 322 Improvements
May 15, 2007
Damminger said that the Route 322 traffic that routinely backs up through the entire length of Harrison Township and Mullica Hill and not only impacts through traffic but also the local and intra-County traffic along Route 45. There were 50 recorded accidents from 2002 to 2004 in the area where the bypass will by constructed to alleviate traffic.
For the Richwood portion of the project, the County will be widening and resurfacing the section of US Route 322, from just East of the Lambs Road (CR635) Intersection to just West of the Barnsboro Richwood Road (CR609) Intersection. The project will revise the existing traffic pattern on US Route 322 from two lanes (one lane in each direction) to five lanes (two lanes in each direction with a center left turn lane) and Signal upgrades at Intersections. The estimated cost for the Richwood Area Improvements including Construction, Acquisition, and Design is approximately $10,000,000.00
For the Mullica Hill portion of the project, a bypass road will realign and separate the US Route 322 through traffic. US Route 322 would continue straight through at the Route 45 intersection and traverse through an undeveloped area to the east of Mullica Hill. The intersection would be improved to add left turn lanes on all approaches and a right turn lane eastbound on US Route 322 southbound to Route 45. The bypass roadway would be constructed for one lane in each direction of travel with shoulders. The new roadway would again reconnect to the existing alignment of Route 322 at a new signalized intersection at Clems Run Road (CR 623). A small section of this 1 ½ mile new road would utilize a section of Walters Road. Walters Road would be realigned with the new roadway and allow for all existing traffic movements. The estimated cost for the Mullica Hill Area Improvements including Construction, Acquisition, and Design is approximately $12,000,000.00.
The economic impact of investing in these improvements is going to be tremendous and felt county-wide because although the traffic problem occurs in Harrison it ripples up and down all of our towns, stated Freeholder Joseph A. Brigandi, Jr. This project will give our downtowns will have a chance to thrive again. The growth that has gone on along this Route 322 corridor is unprecedented and by addressing the traffic issues here local restaurants and shops will be very successful, Brigandi said.
Mayor Mike Koestler said that he was appreciative to the county and the state for investing the funding into the Route 322 corridor. The traffic here has been plaguing Harrison Township for decades. When I took office two years ago I set up a meeting with Freeholder Sweeney. We talked about the problems and working together to find solutions. Today those talks have resulted in action that will improve our town and the entire region, said Mayor Koestler. I am excited to get started so that our town isnt the place where you are stuck in traffic, but the destination people are coming to shop and dine.