A new roundabout for Salina Road in Deptford NJ was completed this year, which offers a new entrance point into the Rowan college campus.
Additionally the NJDOT (New Jersey Department of Transportation) has approved a new traffic signal where Salina Road meets Delsea Drive, and has already started design work and other preliminary aspects.
These are two of four recent projects for the 2 mile segment of Salina Rd near the Rowan College campus in Deptford NJ.
Last year the Salina Bridge over Bees Branch was rebuilt, and in 2018 a new traffic signal was added at Salina and Tanyard Rd.
While all of these projects have been proposed and developed as independent efforts, it’s clear that Gloucester County Government and other local leaders are not only looking to improve road safety, but to improve access into the Rowan College Campus in Deptford… which is seeing significant growth in student population, along with additional buildings and schools being developed.
Read on to learn more about these projects, and how a resident pushed for this for several years (inspiring him to run for Council and win!), and how the Washington Township Police Department is taking a proactive role in improving area roadways!
Roundabout at Salina Rd.
The new roundabout for Salina Road was developed in Deptford Township along a bend in the road at Rowan College
In this area the roadway runs between two farms… one a classic plant and flower farm, the other a modern day solar farm. The college is on the the north side of Salina.
This segment of Salina Rd. has Tanyard Rd. at one intersection end-point, and Blackwood-Barnsboro Road at the other end-point.
If you continued on past Blackwood-Barnsboro Rd. you would cross the newly rebuilt bridge over Bees Branch, and then onto Delsea Drive (Rt 47) where a new traffic signal will be installed next year.
As mentioned the roundabout provides a new entrance into the Rowan college campus (a third leg off of Salina) connecting into Alumni drive, which is a key roadway around the perimeter of the campus.
At the connection point to Alumni drive there are several new campus buildings being developed, and I will be reporting on them separately at a later date.
Information from a construction bidding site (which I believe was originally from the Gloucester County Request For Proposal) offers the following reason for the roundabout
Rowan College has grown and expanded to recently double its enrollment and increased the facilities to now include a planned School of Nursing on the campus. As such, traffic has increased and the ability for students to access the campus has strained the current adjoining intersections to create long delays for students.Gloucester County RFP for Salina Road Roundabout
Additionally it appears that the County was able to receive funding for this project from a $54 million Federal American Recovery Plan award. The ARP act is $350 billion funding program offered to state, local and tribal governments to support their response to and recovery from, the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Rowan College was one of New Jersey’s six mega vaccination sites.
Local governments incurred significant costs in staffing at the vaccination site (over 200 people), immediate infrastructure changes, impacts to utilize facilities, as well as changes needed to better prepare sites for potential future crisis needs.
In the County’s document (PDF) related to the American Recovery Plan it also states the following need:
This site will be utilized in the future should similar testing and vaccinations be required for future outbreaks. The planned improvements will provide enhanced access to the facility and allow for an improved level of operations and service to the public.Gloucester County Document: Federal American Recovery Plan
Planned New Traffic Light at Salina Road and Delsea Drive
On January 28th the Washington Township Police Department’s Facebook page announced that the NJDOT has agreed to add a traffic signal at Delsea and Salina road, and stated the project is currently in final design review and is funded for 2024.
Their Social Media commentary goes on to say that the bid, award and construction will take place next year (2024). Also, the State is already working on the necessary right-of-ways of nearby property owners as well as filing permits and coordinating utility work.
Searching through the Police Department’s Facebook page it’s clear that they are taking a position of not just being the response team who only deals with an accident’s aftermath, and have positioned themselves to proactively work with the State and other local governments to move towards improvements on area roadways.
I quickly found three different posts related to this intersection where the Police Department has reached out to the Department of Transportation to show the need for a traffic signal here.
Additionally, they’ve also been chronicling serious accidents at the roadway intersection; both as a warning to area drivers who needed to drive through at that time, but also I would imagine to show the importance for a traffic signal being added at Delsea and Salina.
The Police Department is also on top of several other key intersections in the Washington Township area.
As an example, earlier this year they called out that they’ve been working with the Department of Transportation on the Cross Keys Rd. and Route 42 intersection, looking for improvements there. (Facebook). I have new information from the NJDOT on a large project for Route 42- Black Horse Pike, which I will be posting later this week.
The Police Department has also been sharing information on a planned Delsea Drive Improvement Project, also to be handled by the NJDOT. I’ll have more on this at a later date.
Also, an area resident has been pushing for a traffic signal at the intersection going back several years, including last year attending several Gloucester County meetings asking for their assistance in getting a traffic light approved at the same intersection.
That resident Peter Dell Borello lives in the area of the intersection and is very familiar with the challenges and dangerousness of that section of highway, and wanted to do something about it.
His experience with the process of residents trying to make positive changes within their community lead Peter to run for local office… And he is now a new Councilman in Washington Township!
I have to say. Pete DelBorello, really did a lot of work on this. For 3 years now he’s been pushing the county and state. I’m glad to see it’s finally going throughGloucester County Commissioner Chris Konawel
On February 2nd Peter published his own announcement on social media app Next Door by filming a video at the intersection. (Next Door Website Page)
Salina Road Bridge at Bees Branch
Last year Gloucester County completed a project to rebuild the Salina Road bridge which crosses over Bees Branch, which is between Blackwood-Barnsboro and Delsea Drive.
The bridge project required a full closure of the roadway for a significant amount of time, but as mentioned it is now completed.
Salina Road and Tanyard Rd. Traffic Signal
In 2018 a traffic signal was completed at the intersection of Tanyard Road and Salina Rd.
This is also in the Rowan College Deptford perimeter area and was likely implemented for similar reasons as the roundabout… to support the growth of the college and its associated traffic.