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Cross Keys Road Widening Restarts June.  Sicklerville Road at 42 Repaved

Cross Keys Road Widening Restarts June.  Sicklerville Road at 42 Repaved
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The ongoing Contract 3 segment of the Berlin-Cross Keys Road widening project (Technical School to Turnersville Road) restarts in June after the school year ends, with the effort continuing through most of the Summer.

Also, an important segment of Sicklerville Road at Route 42 was recently fully repaved after the road deteriorated well beyond the standard pothole stage.

Sicklerville Road Repaved at Route 42 (in front of Wawa)

Berlin Cross Keys Road Widening

The Berlin-Cross Keys Road Widening Project is a multiphase effort to widen the roadway to Five Lanes (two in each direction plus center turn lane) from New Brookyn Erial Road to the White Horse Pike.

The more commercially developed Western portion of the roadway down to the County line (around the Black Horse Pike) was widened about 20 years ago.

Once these more recent segments are completed, Berlin-Cross Keys Road will be a key County thoroughfare supporting 2 lanes of traffic in each direction and connecting two major roadways… the Black Horse and White Horse Pikes.

Berlin-Cross Keys Road Widening (May 2024)

The current $6.9 million project segment is a 1.25 mile stretch between the Camden County Technical Schools Campus and Turnersville Rd, which started in September of 2022.

As we reported back in November this effort has run longer due to unforeseen soil issues in a core portion of the project.

Just north of the technical school you may have noticed there really isn’t much development, and the roadway is lined with trees. This is because that area around Sharps Branch Creek (and extending well around it) is wetlands, and is also designated a FEMA 100-year floodplain.

This means it’s an area that is difficult to develop on whether it’s buildings or roadways!

DVRPC Berlin-Cross Keys Road Widening Depiction showing environmental areas. 42Freeway added green and red “Current Effort” highlights

I previously wrote that years of organic material build up from the roadside trees and vegetation, as well as the general higher moisture in the soil…  led to a softer base then what was originally anticipated.

In 2023 the project experienced a work stoppage as the County, Engineers and Contractors worked together to make adjustments on the project, to account for the moisture conditions.

That effort restarted in November 2023 with a three-week full roadway segment closure. During that effort additional asphalt base was put in place, as can be seen by my photos here.

A County Press Release from December 20th announced the reopening of the roadway, and stated that work would resume in the Spring.

All work on the project will be paused for the winter and work crews will remobilize in the spring to install final pavement surfacing and permanent striping. No additional full road closures are anticipated to be needed for the project…

Camden County December 20th Press Release on Cross Keys Road Widening
New asphalt base on shoulders, Berlin-Cross Keys Road Widening (May 2024)

And to finally get to the point of today, it appears that the latest delay from December through June (and taking place through the summer) is partially an extension of that same reasoning.

One important aspect of the waiting for warmer months to complete the segment is that the final asphalt paving layer needs to be done when the ground is warm. Additionally, the decided it would be best if the project could be done after the school year ends.

Lastly while details were not provided it seems there have been further changes to some aspects of the design, including a small increase in the contract budget which needed to be approved.

New asphalt base on shoulders, Berlin-Cross Keys Road Widening (May 2024)

So what I left out of that December 20th quote is that at that time it was expected to have been completed in April. But all of the factors above has the County restarting in June (after the school year) and continuing the effort through the summer.

…based on new design and construction timeline, and wanting to wait until school was finished and utility work is completed, we will be starting construction in June that will go through the summer months and should be punch listed by fall.

Camden County Statement (May 9) on the Berlin-Cross Keys Road Contract 3 Segment completion

Sicklerville Road at Route 42

The quarter mile segment of Sicklerville Road at the Route 42 North exits and the adjacent Wawa, was fully repaved recently and restriped.

The primary Sicklerville Road repaving segment is from Hickstown Road to the border of Gloucester County (just past the Route 42 bridge).   All new asphalt is in place as well as new bright roadway lane markings.

While it’s not a long segment of Sicklerville Road, it is highly traveled as cars move on and off of Route 42, access in and out of Wawa, head to Hickstown Road and of course continue down on Sicklerville Road.

Sicklerville Road Repaved at Route 42

Clearly roadways all around the country are impacted by “pothole season”, but with so much traffic moving in and out of this short segment of roadway, it clearly had fully deteriorated much further beyond standard pothole issues.

As I wrote in my March 5th article, I experienced a full tire blowout (it happens). I was able to make it up to the auto repair place on the corner at the Black Horse Pike to find there were several other cars and car owners there, all who had been taken out by this pot-crater.

Massive pothole that USED to be on Sicklerville Road

I shared my experience with the County because I really wanted someone to address this quickly so that others weren’t impacted, and they responded at that time saying an emergency work repair order was already in process, but they needed to wait for the warmer weather before doing such a significant asphalt effort

For proper adhesion the roadway needs to be at a warmer temperature than winter time… in fact most asphalt plants in cold-winter States like New Jersey shut down for several months of the winter.

Sicklerville Road Repaved at Route 42 (in front of Wawa)

In the interim the County roadwork teams kept up with patching an reappearing potholes on the roadway.

So today we have a brand new segment of smooth roadway on Sickerlville Road at Route 42, offering a smooth ride and very crisp and clear roadway markings.

And soon… a new segment of Berlin-Cross Keys Road will be just as smooth,… and wider!

Sicklerville Road Repaved at Route 42 (in front of Wawa)