A Chipotle boom is taking place in the 42Freeway area, with another one proposed for Blackwood-Clementon Road, at the site of the former Denny's Restaurant. The Denny's building would be demolished to make way for a new building, which will have space for a future second retail client.
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.
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!