Department of Transportation officials say new north-and-southbound lanes would improve congestion.
Marlton residents had their chance this week to ask questions and offer input on a plan from the state Department of Transportation to add a third lane of north-and-southbound traffic to a section of Route 73 in Evesham Township.
DOT officials gathered for several hours at the Evesham Municipal Complex for what officials described as a “Public Information Center” focused on the DOT’s current proposals for the project.
According to Daniel Triana, public information officer for DOT Communications, DOT has identified the intersection of Route 73 and Marlton Parkway “an area of traffic congestion which can benefit from operational improvements.”
Those improvements would mainly consist of adding a third lane of north-and-southbound traffic for the two-mile corridor of Route 73 between Sunbird Drive and Center Boulevard.
According to information provided at this week’s Public Information Center, the section of Route 73 studied by the DOT produced more than 1.5 times the number of crashes as the state average for similar roadways.
Of those crashes, 85 percent resulted from same-direction rear end crashes and same-direction sideswipe crashes.
For the intersection of Evesham Road and Marlton Parkway, the same-direction sideswipe crashes and same-direction rear end crashes accounted for almost 62 percent of all accidents.
Triana said engineering improvements in the area would also include the following:
· Auxiliary lanes provided for right turn and jug-handle vehicles at Ardsley Drive Evesham Road/Marlton Parkway and Brick Road
· Removal of the un-signalized Route 73 southbound left turn onto Commonwealth Drive
· Conversion of the Marlton Parkway and Sagemore Drive signalized intersection to a single lane modern roundabout
· Removal of the Route 73 northbound left turn at Evesham Road, with vehicles being directed to the proposed Marlton Parkway Roundabout
· Realignment of the Route 73 southbound jug-handle at Brick Road
However, Triana said the overall project is still in the early planning stages of concept development. Triana said an early DOT timeline estimates construction wouldn’t begin until mid-2023.
Once started, Triana said construction was estimated to last for two years.
DOT officials first publicly announced potential traffic improvements to the area with a public presentation before Evesham Township Council last August.
At the time, officials from the DOT said the Evesham Road and Marlton Parkway intersection ranked 16th out 193 “High-Need Signalized Intersections” in the state and 11th out of 91 for needed DOT “Highway Operational Improvements.”
“From a DOT standpoint on congestion and management systems, it’s a high priority location,” engineer Scott Diehl said last August.
At that same meeting, Diehl said DOT projected the impact of the improvements to 2040, and even factoring in traffic growth, DOT projections showed the area with little to no instances where roads would meet or exceed their traffic capacity levels during the day.
Moving forward, Triana said DOT will continue to host more Public Information Centers as the project advances.
Members of the public can send requests for additional information or comments about the project to Kimberly Nance, Regional Manager, New Jersey Department of Transportation, Community & Constituent Relations, PO Box 600, Trenton, NJ 08625–0600.
Members of the public can also call (609) 530–2110 or direct emails to Kimberly.Nance@dot.nj.gov.