Route 73 construction could affect residents

By AUBRIE GEORGE | The Moorestown Sun

The state Department of Transportation has plans to begin a road construction project at Route 73 and Fox Meadow Drive that could potentially affect commuters, residents and business owners in Moorestown.

According to a statement released by the NJDOT, the $18 million state-funded project will make safety improvements and operational upgrades to Route 73 in Moorestown and in Maple Shade Township.

NJDOT officials were scheduled to begin initial construction operations at the site on Route 73 beginning the week of Nov. 16. Those construction operations include utility relocation, drainage upgrades, construction of a new concrete median barrier and roadway realignment work, according to the statement.

The entire project is scheduled to continue until spring of 2012.

“It’s about a two-year project,” said Tony Marsella from the NJDOT’s office of community relations. “When we say that, we mean to completion, that means the total job.”

Marsella said full completion included landscaping at the work zone.

South State, Inc. of Bridgeton is the contractor that was selected, by bid, to do the project, Marsella said.

NJDOT officials said the project would increase safety and reduce traffic congestion by constructing an additional travel lane in each direction from south of Fellowship Road and Fox Meadow Drive to East Main Street and Camden Avenue.

The project calls for realignment and widening of Route 73 to the Fellowship Road and Fox Meadow Drive interchange in order to provide new dedicated turning lanes on the East Main Street and Camden Avenue exit ramps.

NJDOT plans to replace the East Main Street/Camden Avenue bridge deck on County Road 537 over Route 73 and will install two new traffic signals on the East Main Street and Camden Avenue exit ramps.

The bridge will be closed for no more than 150 calendar days, Marsella said. NJDOT officials estimate it will be closed from about June 2010 to December 2010. NJDOT officials said detours would be posted during the closure.

In addition, NJDOT plans to eliminate the free-flow of movement from Fellowship Road to Route 73 southbound. To alleviate current flooding issues, the drainage system will be upgraded around the East Main Street and Camden Avenue overpass. Four water treatment devices will be constructed to improve water quality discharge into the Pennsauken Creek.

During construction, NJDOT will shift traffic in both directions on Route 73 to the right so the existing shoulder lanes will be used as travel lanes. During normal work hours, two lanes on Route 73 will be maintained.

NJDOT will designate the center portion of Route 73 from the Route 41 overpass to the vicinity of the Conrail railroad bridge as the official project work zone, the statement said.

There will be nighttime, temporary lane closures on Route 73 if they are needed, NJDOT officials said.

Variable message boards will alert commuters of traffic changes and traffic information is available through the NJDOT’s traffic information Web site, www.nj511.info.

NJDOT officials held a pre-construction meeting last week in order to give residents a chance to see project maps and discuss issues with NJDOT officials.

The public was given an opportunity to comment during the meeting and citizens are also welcome to issue comments to the NJDOT through mail or e-mail within 60 days of the meeting. Those who comment within the comment period will receive a written response from NJDOT officials.

For additional information regarding the project, residents may contact Tony Marsella at (609) 530–2110 or through e-mail at tony.marsella@dot.state.nj.us.