If you’ve driven along Route 70 recently, you may have noticed work being done in the medians.
It’s part of the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Route 70 Corridor Improvement Project, a $151 investment by the state that will improve Route 70 from Route 38 in Pennsauken to Cooper Avenue in Evesham Township. The work began last September and is expected to be completed in the winter of 2026.
“The general sequence of work is to remove and replace the gas main in the median, remove and replace the ITS conduit and fiber in the median, water main replacement, curb/sidewalk/full depth pavement along the shoulder, curb/full depth pavement along the median, then resurfacing of travel lanes,” said Steve Schapiro, press manager for NJDOT.
According to Schapiro, the work being done in the medians is for utility improvements, for replacing water and gas mains as well as for the ITS (intelligent transportation system) conduit and fiber. Camden County Commissioner Virginia Betteridge explained that part of the work will include moving the electric wires underground.
“Aesthetically, it will be very pleasing, but also when you get these major storms, it will help,” she said.
Part of the work focuses on pedestrian safety by upgrading crosswalks and curb ramps to make sure they’re in compliance with the American With Disabilities Act, replacing two digital message signs and adding two new ones.
“The schedule is highly variable and some work may become available for the contractor to do ahead of schedule,” Schapiro noted. “This project involves many different stages and intersections, and each of these sections may have different construction sequences and activities.”
The milling and repaving of the road and upgrading of 28 traffic signals along the route are expected to take place toward the end of the project.
Parth Oza, NJ DOT acting assistant commissioner, said there was an environmental aspect to the project as well, since it includes the installation of additional inlets, stormwater management basins, and the replacement of culverts at Cropwell’s Brook, Pennsauken Creek and Chandler’s Run. Corrugated metal pipes will also be replaced with larger, reinforced concrete pipes to improve drainage.
“All of this work is part of our efforts to build resilience into our projects to ensure we can handle the increasingly severe storms and heavy rainfalls that are becoming more common because of climate change,” said Oza.
During the work, some Cherry Hill residents have commented on the loss of trees along Route 70 that were removed because of conflicts with construction and the declining health of some of them, according to Schapiro.
“This project’s reforestation plan will replace 236 trees within the project limits, out of 316 trees that are expected to be removed,” he explained. “In addition, $24,000 will be available to Cherry Hill for tree planting within the community to mitigate the trees that cannot be replanted within the project limits.”
The trees being removed were all on NJDOT property and most were in drainage basins. Nearly every tree removed will be replaced as part of the NJ No Net Loss Reforestation Compensatory Reforestation Act.
Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald said that the last time infrastructure improvements were made to Route 70 was six years ago, and in that time, Cherry Hill’s population has grown by 4,000 residents.
“This is one of the most heavily traveled roads, and this is a lifetime investment,” said Betteridge. ”This is not a project that is going to last five years. This is a once-in-a-lifetime investment, and we the local elected officials want to thank the state for helping us secure these funds.”
To learn more about the Corridor Safety and Improvement Project, visit https://www.nj.gov/transportation/commuter/roads/rt70corridor/.