NJDOT officials today announced the closure of the Interstate 76 eastbound (Exit 1A) ramp connection to Interstate 295 southbound this weekend in conjunction with the Direct Connection project in Bellmawr and Mt. Ephraim, Camden County. The ramp closure was originally scheduled for last weekend but was postponed by the contractor due to weather concerns.
Beginning Friday night, July 19, at around 11 p.m. NJDOT’s contractor, PKF Mark III, is scheduled to close the left-lane ramp connection to set up a new construction zone. The full ramp closure is necessary for the contractor to conduct roadway excavation work along the inside shoulder of the ramp. NJDOT expects the ramp to be reopened by 5 a.m. on Monday, July 22. If the work is completed prior to that, the ramp will be reopened accordingly.
During the weekend closure motorists destined for Interstate 295 southbound will be directed to utilize one of two detour options:
o Motorists can use I-76 eastbound Exit 1B for I-295 northbound to Exit 28 for Route 168 northbound to the ramp for I-295 southbound.
o As a secondary detour, motorists can use I-76 eastbound to Route 42 southbound to Exit 14 to use Creek Road to get onto Route 42 northbound to I-295 northbound to Exit 28 for Route 168 northbound to the ramp for I-295 southbound.
In addition, the contractor will be closing the I-295 northbound left-lane Exit 26 ramp for I-76 westbound Express during the same timeframe (Friday night through Monday morning). No detour is necessary, as I-295 northbound motorists can continue north into the merge with Route 42 northbound motorists and access I-76 westbound as well as I-676 and Route 130.
Portable variable message signs are being utilized throughout the project limits to provide advance notification to the motoring public of all traffic pattern changes associated with Direct Connection.
Construction began on the $160 million Contract 1 in March, which will carry out work along I-295 south of Essex Avenue, along I-76 in the Market Street area and along two Route 42 ramps. Work under this first contract is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015. Overall, the $900 million federally funded Direct Connection project will provide a seamless route for I-295 motorists traveling through the interchange. The project has been divided into four separate construction contracts, with completion of the fourth and final contract in the fall of 2021. NJDOT’s project website provides construction activity schedules and updates.
Earlier this month NJDOT restricted the Bell Road bridge to one travel lane over I-295 to advance construction operations at that location as well.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for real-time travel information.