News Details

Route 322 Bypass Opens relieves Decades of Traffic Problems for Region

New Route promotes Safety, Economic Development and Quality of Life

January 11, 2012

News

       

                                      For Immediate Release:  January 11, 2012

Contact:  Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger (853-3395) or Freeholder Heather Simmons (853-3378)

Route 322 Bypass Opens relieves Decades of Traffic Problems for Region

New Route promotes Safety, Economic Development and Quality of Life

(Harrison Twp., NJ) –  Construction of a multi-phase, four-year project that culminated in the completion of the Route 322 Bypass was celebrated today at a ribbon cutting ceremony and hailed as a success by local officials, residents and merchants.

 Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger, Freeholder Deputy Director Giuseppe (Joe) Chila and Freeholder Heather Simmons were joined by NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Don Norcorss and Harrison Township Mayor Lou Manzo to cut the ribbon and take the first official ride through the newly constructed Route 322 Bypass.  The bypass removes all through traffic on 322 from traveling through downtown Mullica Hill and alleviates congestion in this historic district. 

 “This is a day for the history books of Gloucester County,” said Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger.  “I am very proud to be part of the progressive board that made the decision to invest in our infrastructure, our public safety and the quality of life for our residents who live here and travel through here on a daily basis,” stated Damminger.

 Damminger said, “When we started this project Route 322 was dangerous, traffic studies showed that the signals failed at every section in town, and local merchants in the downtown suffered.  It took a lot of determination to bring this project to fruition and the board worked closely with the local officials, residents and business owners to make this happen.”

 “The feeling of traffic relief was instantly felt in the summer of 2009 as we completed the first phase of Route 322 improvements and opened the jug handle and connector road in Richwood.  There were a lot of naysayers before we began, but we continued to show throughout the project that the end result would result in better community for the residents of this region,” stated NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney.

 Senate President Sweeney was the Freeholder Director who was a steward of the project along with Damminger until December of 2010.  “Today is a great day for Gloucester County.  As taxpayers this project represented a state investment of $17.6 million and a federal investment of $1.8 million in to the entire reconstruction of route 322.  It is the largest infrastructure project ever completed by the county and I am very proud to be associated with it,” Sweeney said.

 Freeholder Heather Simmons, liaison to the Department of Economic Development and Public Works said that the 322 Bypass and entire project will continue to help promote the economic vitality of downtown Mullica Hill.

 “Our responsibility as leaders is to take on the hard challenges and find solutions.  Mullica Hill’s historic district was being avoided because of traffic gridlock and now it will be open for business,” said Freeholder Simmons.  “This new bypass will offer new life to many of our local merchants and their businesses.”

 “I want to thank everyone for their patience throughout this process.  It has been a long time coming, but today it is finally here,” said Freeholder Simmons.

 Some highlights of the Route 322 improvements:

 June 2009 - The Route 322 Phase I Richwood improvements included the installation of the Jug Handle Road between Route 322 and Lambs Road (CR 635), and the installation of the Connector Road between Harrisonville Road (CR618) and Richwood Road (CR609). 

 The project included widening on Route 322 at both intersections with Lambs Road and Barnsboro Road.  Harrisonville Road was turned into a one-way away from the intersection at Route 322, enabling more green time to be placed on Route 322 to improve the traffic flow.  The widening at the intersection Route 322 and Barnsboro Road allows traffic get around vehicles making a turn at the light.

 June 2010 - The Richwood Phase II Route 322 construction widened Route 322 to a five lane roadway (two in each direction with a center turn lane).  The widening runs from the traffic signal at Lambs Road (CR 635) to just west of the traffic signal at Barnsboro Road (CR 609).  The two traffic signals were improved with left hand turn arrows installed on the County Route approaches.  Turn lanes were constructed on Barnsboro Road and Lambs Road to improve the left hand turn movements.

 October 2010 – Signalization of the intersection of South Main Street (Route 45) with Mullica Road (also known as old Route 322).  The signal provided for Harmony Fire station to pre-empt the signal so fire fighters can control the signal during emergencies.  New sidewalks and handicap ramps were also installed and the radius on one of the corners was adjusted to provide for the crosswalks, handicap ramps and improved truck turning movements.  Stop bar striping was placed to allow for truck turning movements.

 October 2010– Resurfacing and safety improvements from Richwood to the 322 Bypass

 December 2010 - Phase I of the bypass reconnected the existing alignment of Route 322 at the new signalized intersection at Clems Run Road.  A small section of this 1 ½ mile new road will utilize a section of Walters Road. 

 April 2011 – Resurfacing and safety improvements to 322 from Woolwich Twp. line to Route 45

 June 2011 – Tomlin Station Intersection Signalization and the widening of Route 322 and Tomlin Station Roads to include left turn lanes on all approaches and a new signal at this location, which allows for the safe controlled movement through the intersection.

 December 2011 – Ground broken on phase II of the bypass, including the realignment of Walters Road to allow for better traffic flow and the construction of the 322 Bypass

 January 2012 – Ribbon Cutting and Opening of the Route 322 Bypass

 

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