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Fries Mill Road and Rt 322 Intersection – August Update

Fries Mill Road and Rt 322 Intersection – August Update
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An early August update on the Intersection Improvement project for Fries Mill Road and Rt 322.

Development is ongoing on this large upgrade which will widen the road, offer drainage improvements, ADA curb and ramp installation, as well as roadway resurfacing.

Dedicated turn lanes and through-lanes will be provided on all approaches to address current congestion at this intersection. Utility relocation will also take place to facilitate the wider roadway.

This project has been planned for… and hoped…  for many years by locals and officials, and is a regular topic within the local Monroe Township government.

Rt 322 and Fries Mill Close-up image shows crews and trucks on site. That bulldozer was actively moving dirt

42Freeway reported back in November of 2022 that construction would be starting, and the project began earlier this year.

What may not be readily apparent to folks regarding a project like this is that the real work is not in laying the wider roadway asphalt, but a big challenge is in the relocation of all of the utilities such as electricity, fiber, cable, as well as underground utilities… which were placed many decades ago based on a much more narrower roadway.

Rt 322 and Fries Mill Rd Intersection Improvement Project starts in Monroe Township Gloucester County NJ
Rt 322 and Fries Mill Rd Intersection Improvement Project in Monroe Township Gloucester County NJ

So at certain milestones of this Intersection Upgrade project, the core road construction efforts have to stop so that utilities can step back in to do the next segment of their utility work either on the poles or underground.

It’s not much different when building a house when after the framing and exterior walls are up, electricians and plumbers have to come in and do their work, and it could appear that “construction has stopped”.

Route 322 & Fries Mill Road – August Update

So with that being said I’ve had several messages recently about what’s appeared to be a short stoppage in work at the site, as well as questions regarding additional construction taking place further down Rt 322.

I reached out to a County Road representative for an update on the project

So regarding the recent temporary work stoppage.

As mentioned this project is highly dependent on utility relocations and upgrades, both in the air (telephone poles) and underground.

Comparison image from similar angle of progress at Rt 322 and Fries Mill Rd. Significant site prep work is completed for the widened intersection, and you can see most of the telephone poles have been relocated back

At the start of the project the initial utility work was focused on relocating the telephone poles further back from the roadway to accommodate the wider intersection with its additional traffic lanes.

This required coordination from several utilities including electric companies, Verizon and likely Comcast so that all utilities could relocate their lines to the new poles

And at the start of the project there were some additional delays regarding this initial utility effort.

Most recently the project experienced temporary work stoppage when coordination needed to take place regarding underground utilities.

August 2, 2023 image of Fries Mill and Rt 322 Intersection project. Crews and trucks are actively working at the site (across the corner, which is the Scotland Run Golf corner). Glassboro is to the Left

Those efforts have been completed and in my visit yesterday it was very clear to me that road construction was taking place again, focused on the corner oh where the golf course is.  The county representative confirmed that they have restarted road construction again

Originally the project was slated to be completed by mid-september and I admit that I neglected to ask for an update on this in my recent e-mail communication… I wouldn’t be surprised if this went a little bit longer than that.

Additional Development Past The Intersection On 322

Readers have also noted that there were additional construction efforts taking place at the northwest wooded property, both on Route 322 and Fries Mill Road.

The areas indicated in my photo below are locations of temporary storm basins which are in place to support the intersection expansion.

Two temporary stormwater basins are being developed in the northwst property, as part of this intersection project

For the Route 322 effort, you can make out the shape of the storm basin in my photos.

The basins are identified as “temporary” in that.. if future development comes to that lot they developer has the option to relocate the basins or connect into the storm sewers. If no development happens, then the basins that are being developed now will stay in place.

Once I have an answer I will update.

This stormwater basin is located off of Fries Mill Road, near the Rt 322 intersection project.

There is also construction taking place on both of the southern corner properties.

There are other projects in the works for those properties that I need to write about. Both of them are targeted at residential development.

Route 322 Associates property at the intersection has construction activity along Rt 322 (to the right) and also starting in the back. I will be back to report on that.

The Southwest corner property is Route 322 Associates and is proposed for residential lots

The Southeast corner property is Blaze Mill and will be developed as a mixed use project, with townhomes the residential aspect.

I will definitely report on these two projects soon once I confirm aspects of them. The Blaze Mill project appears to have been in process for over 10 years!