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Direct Connection Bellmawr 295 42 676

It’s massive.  Probably the largest and most impactful road project in South Jersey in 70 years.   I don’t think there is a person in the Delaware Valley who isn’t aware of this project, and yet… no one really knows what it is.  I am obviously referring to the Direct Connection project for Routes 295, 42 and 76 taking place the last few years primarily in Bellmawr New Jersey… and which still has many years to go.  In the attached video I try to explain the whys, the hows, and the where-we-ares of this project!  It’s a long video at 27 minutes, but its filled information presented with tons of current video, 3D animated depictions of the project, renderings… and all with Mark’s excellent commentary of course!  🙂

If you are one of the few who aren’t familiar, this massive almost 1 BILLION dollar project is aiming to improve traffic conditions where Routes 295, 42 and 76 meet in the heart of Bellmawr NJ.  The interchange is currently mostly below the grade of Bellmawr and not seen by most of it’s residents, but oh boy is that going to change.   Adding to the challenge is the core project area is wedged between a Bellmawr Church and a large cemetery with mausoleums.  In the core suburban metro area of Camden and Gloucester counties, everyone has passed through this… and if you are in Pennsylvania and head to the Jersey Beaches via the Atlantic City expressway, you have also found yourself asking “what are the doing?”

The problem with this interchange starts with Route 295.  It is a Federal highway with the intent of moving large numbers of cars at high speeds in mostly straight lines.  The Bellmawr section of 295 fails both of these tests, which the new project aims to correct.

  • Al-Jo’s curve on 295 South is a ridiculously out of the way loop in 295 South which takes drivers far out of their way.  The curve is tight enough that drivers must know to slow down from 65 mph to 35 mph or less
  • Traffic Pattern Chaos:  With traffic moving in and out of a variety of widely traveled roads, there are not enough clear paths for drivers… so “I gotta get over there” anxiety exist.  Well even some “HOW do I get over there”

And to correct these problems, we will be getting multiple levels of roads, including 10 lanes of highway up OVER TOP of Bellmawr’s Browning Roads!  In fact, a temporary Browning Road bridge is going in soon.  Direct road paths, small tunnels…   many aspects to this project.  Much more to come, than what has been done!

Ironically… this still doesn’t solve all of the problems!  You still won’t be able to go from 42 North to 295 South (and vice versa)!!   That project is called “Missing Moves” and is slated to start in just a couple of years.  More on that soon!

The video has a (somewhat) logical flow to help tell the story:

  • Explaining the problems.  Pre-construction view with Google Maps
  • Two different 3D animated renderings of final project (NJDOT contractors)
  • Current Video Recorded Aug 19
    • Core completed elements
    • Concrete support columns and ramps, used to help understand where the core 295 roadway will pass.
    • Browning Road temporary bridge construction details
    • Other aspects
  • NJDOT graphic depictions of how the sound barriers will be positioned in the area of Browning Road.
  • Other…

Check out the photos in this post which are taken from the video… but the real information about the project sits within the attached YouTube video and associated commentary.

Filmed in 1080p HD… so use the YouTube controls to view in full-screen.
A little bit of an audio echo… I’ll take care of that in the next video!

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. do you know what the building is right near the new 42 south 295 north ramp? its got couple doors and it looks like maybe its for all the electrical stuff? great work

      1. Because of the low roadway which will become the ramp from 295 South to 42 South and the high water table, I’m pretty sure that building is basically a pump room to keep the water from flooding the ramp! NJDOT considers that ramp a tunnel, so they’ve built some extra stuff to keep it dry.

      2. That building is going to house a pump station and/or electrical stuff. Because of how low the ramp from 295 South to 42 South will be, and how high the water table in the area is, NJDOT is treating the ramp as a tunnel under Rt. 42. They’re going to have lane traffic lights similar to the Rt. 29 Trenton Tunnel, and there’s supposed to be pumps continuously running to keep the area dry!

  2. are they making a ramp from 295 north to 42 south? also why was 295 built like this in the first place. I thought I read somewhere it was to go around a structure or structures that were there? not sure. This is a great video alot going on i wish they would make rt 55 two lanes merging with 42 north…

  3. If humans were wiped off the earth…the earth would regain balance and everything would thrive ….. humans are what will destroy the earth. You think your survival makes the world better and yet it is only humans who create hate, division, war, abuse and ego-driven destruction. So the ‘SAD’ part is actually the survival of humans.

  4. I FINALLY GET IT! I’ve been wondering for YEARS how this was going to work (and would have wondered for many years more) — NOW I GET IT! Thank you for this!!

  5. There still is no exit to get off of 295N to get onto 76/42E, that’s one of the biggest headaches when trying to go from 295 to the shore area or the Deptford mall or even 55.

    1. I mention it at the end of the video, and updated the post… the Missing Moves project. I should have very clearly called it out when doing the Google Maps overview.
      so Missing moves is a road and bridge which will go through the Bellmawr landfill connecting 42North to 295 south (and of course the reverse).
      I will be doing a MUCH shorter video on that… probably over the weekend.
      Seems that project could start as early as 2019!!!

  6. Mark…excellent video! I’ve been keeping close tabs of this project myself. Here’s one thing you may not have realized: You mentioned those walls that were built, which will eventually hold 295 North above the 76 East to 295 North ramp. Soon they will be switching the path of 295 North (again), and the result will be the combined 5 lanes of 295 North and that 76 to 295 North ramp will all be going between the area where those two walls are located! That will be another temporary path for 295 while the long overhead bridge is constructed, which will “touchdown” where 295 North is presently located in that general area.

  7. Mark – great video and update on the project. Here’s something you may have missed though – In the area below the cemetery where those new walls were built, which 295 will eventually go over and where the ramp from 76 East to 295 North will go, that will temporarily be used for 5 lanes of traffic – 295 North, along with the 2 ramp lanes! That’s why that area was built so wide…they need to temporarily shift all those lanes thru there so they can build the 295 Overpass, which will “touchdown” in the area were 295 North exists now.

  8. So ridiculous that this interchange was designed as it was in the first place… it’s absurd that you couldn’t get from 42N to 295, or from 42S to 295N. Who back then thought that was the right way to do this?!?!?!?!?

  9. Need to ask 1 big question, will there be an on ramp from Gibbstown 295 south merging into 42 south? Right now and for many yrs.I had to go through Deptford where the mall is to get on 42..or chance killing myself by taking 295 N from Gibbstown and head toward the Walt Whitman Bridge and merge into traffic,get off at 1C and make a u turn back onto 42 south.. please tell me this will be a ROAD fix with all this construction..

    1. Bad news is No. good news is there is a second project coming up in 2019 to address that. It also is another big project and will take a couple years! I plan on posting about the “missing moves” project within the week. Sorry for not making it clear in this long video.

  10. How come no ramp from 295N to Rt. 42S through that wasted land space on the right k own as Kibblehouse. They do nothing with it at all. Meanwhile everybody has to run Creek Rd. To get to 295S from 42N.

    1. There is a seperate project called “Missing Moves” which corrects this issue. Its slated to start next summer. I have another video coming hopefully this weekend. I regret that in my super long first video on the core project I didnt really mention this!

    2. While it’s ‘wasted space’, Kibblehouse still owns it, and the state can’t simply start building on land it doesn’t own. In fact, much of it is supposed to become a large shopping center, which is actually one of the main reasons why the missing moves ramps haven’t been built yet. NJDOT will be building the ramps, hopefully starting in summer of 2019.

      1. Great. Now that the gas tax went up again maybe the state can afford to build those ramps over that wasted space. I drive Creek Rd. and 42 sometimes up to 6 times a night and ramps from 42 to 295 could save so much time. Creek road and around the 2 circles and down 130 just to get to 295 and vise versa is a major pain in the ass.

  11. I have been a big fan of this project long before it even began. I would spend every minute I can just driving around the place to see what new changes have taken place. I live here in Runnemede and I used to travel the place everyday but because of health issues I had to stop but I still love to see what’s going on. What’s up with Browning Road? Why haven’t they started that temp bridge yet? Those center piers have been there since 2017! One would think that they would already be in active use by now!

  12. Great video! Helps to understand this huge project. Minor quibble: it’s cattle “chute” – not “shoot”. (That is a rather gruesome image!)

    1. thanks Eileen! I will finally be posting the followup missing moves video this weekend. Well depending on weather (I want to refresh some video)

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