County Breaks Ground on Route 322 Bypass
(Harrison Twp., NJ) - A complete transformation in the way traffic flows through Mullica Hill got underway today with the ground breaking on the Route 322 Bypass. This final segment of the multi-phase Route 322 improvement project will remove all through traffic on 322 from travelling through downtown Mullica Hill and alleviate congestion in this historic district that has plagued the area. The congestion resulted in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
"This Bypass will make a positive impact on the quality of life for the 12,000 residents of Harrison Township, and for the 27,000 motorists that travel on Route 322 each day," said Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney.
Sweeney said, "I am proud that we have achieved this milestone in this important infrastructure project. Every step we have taken up to this point with the Route 322 has been a success and I am fully confident that with the completion of the bypass that Mullica Hill will be transformed. We have worked hard to get to this point and it is exciting."
The project consists of a new road that will bypass Mullica Hill, allowing Route 322 traffic to cross directly over Route 45 (Main Street) in the Township before reconnecting with Route 322 on the other side of town. This final phase of the 322 Bypass will link with the recently opened roadway that realigned Walters Road with a newly signalized intersection at Clems Run Road (CR623). Upon completion of this final phase all through traffic on Route 322 will bypass the downtown business district.
"When we first announced that the county was going to address the Route 322 area, a lot of residents did not believe that the project would work. We met with some resistance at the start," said Freeholder Deputy Director Robert M. Damminger. "But now that people see the improvements that have been made through the first phases where we have widened and realigned intersections, added turn lanes and connector roads, they are actually using 322 again and are pleased with the progress," Damminger stated.
Damminger who is the liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering said that the county had an ongoing dialogue with the Mayor and Harrison officials throughout the project and will continue to do so through the construction of the Bypass.
"This is the largest infrastructure project that has ever been undertaken in Gloucester County. We have paid attention to all the details so that these improvements will continue to work as the region grows," said Damminger. "The potential for economic development in the downtown of this community will finally have a chance to thrive when this project is completed," Damminger said.
JPC Group will do the construction on this stage of the bypass project and it is expected to be completed in 2012.