Faced with increasing traffic caused by rapid economic growth along the Northern Rte. 130 corridor, Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs recently announced that the county is spearheading immediate infrastructure improvements.
Faced with increasing traffic caused by rapid economic growth along the Northern Rte. 130 corridor, Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs recently announced that the county is spearheading immediate infrastructure improvements to improve traffic flow and quality of life impacts, while partnering with the surrounding municipalities to responsibly plan for future development.
“While we are thrilled by the region’s job growth and its positive impact on our property tax base, there is a downside,” said Gibbs, who noted that region is now home to 6,000 employees and 12 million square feet of industrial space. “I share the frustration of residents concerned by the adverse impact these trucks are putting on our roadways and their quality of life, and I plan to take action immediately to address it. For too long infrastructure improvements have lagged behind development causing unnecessary traffic headaches. That ends today.”
Over the course of the past several months, Gibbs said she has worked with the county engineer, the Director of Economic Development and Regional Planning, and other key staff to evaluate current traffic data and future projections, develop recommendations for immediate road improvement projects, identify funding sources for those projects and ensure that developers pay their fair share.
“As a result of those efforts and in conjunction with the Burlington County Bridge Commission, we will provide $10 million in funding to jumpstart an infrastructure improvement program that will later be reimbursed by the Transportation Trust Fund, other grant funding and the private sector,” said Gibbs. “This initiative will have a direct and positive impact on our traffic issues and yield tangible results for our residents.”
Gibbs said her most pressing priorities include:
• Rye. 130 & Florence-Columbus Road intersection.Gibbs said the funding will help provide additional capacity for current and future traffic at the troubled intersection, which is routinely used by trucks connecting with I-295. The project will also receive $9 million from the TTF and be supplemented by required obligations from private developers. In addition, Florence Township will purchase the land necessary for the intersection upgrades.
• Rte. 130 & Cedar Lane intersection.Gibbs plan will provide a safer and more efficient flow for cars and trucks heading in or out of neighboring warehouses and industrial businesses.
• Neck Road & Dultys Lane intersection.Gibbs said the county is working with Burlington Township to trade jurisdictions of the two roads so the county can expand capacity at the latter. Once completed, the County will direct northbound trucks leaving existing and future industrial facilities along River Road and the future Burlington Amazon facility to access Rte. 130 via Dultys Lane, alleviating traffic on surrounding local roads.
• Winning Concessions from Amazon.In order to mitigate traffic impacts from the impending Amazon facility at the former U.S. Pipe and Foundry site, Gibbs announced that the county has negotiated with the retailer and its landlord to change its employee shifts to avoid morning and afternoon rush hours. Moreover, the county has required Amazon to have a menu of traffic reduction options that may include: An employee shuttle service from offsite parking lots during peak season, and incentives for carpooling and light rail usage.
“Developers will be held accountable and no longer allowed to drop in and negatively affect our roads without contributing their fair share of the solutions,” concluded Gibbs, who added that municipalities in the region and the county are entering into shared services agreements so the impacts of proposed developments and necessary road improvements can be timely evaluated and planned for collaboratively. “Our priority is solving these regional traffic issues in a way that improves the quality of life for our residents, while still ensuring Burlington County is an attractive place for job creation and economic investment. I am confident this new initiative will do just that, and serve as a model for other roadway corridors in the county.”