Construction begins on major Route 23 realignment project in Sussex County
NJDOT to create a new divided section of highway for safer
and more efficient traffic flow
(Trenton) - NJDOT officials today announced that a realignment project to provide a more direct and efficient routing of Route 23 (Hamburg Avenue) in Sussex Borough and Wantage Township is underway.
NJDOT’s construction contractor, Ferreira Construction Co., has started preliminary construction activities including site mobilization and sign installation this week, requiring shoulder closures.
The $19.4 million federally-funded project will retrofit and tie in an existing local roadway - Walling Avenue, which runs parallel to Route 23 – to create a divided section of highway, with one-way directional traffic on each section of the road for a length of almost one mile. When completed, existing Route 23 will serve as the northbound roadway with existing Walling Avenue being converted into Route 23 southbound.
The new Route 23 southbound alignment will extend from the existing signalized intersection with Loomis Avenue (at existing Route 23) and will follow the alignment of Walling Avenue to the south, connecting back with Route 23 at the existing signalized intersection at Lower Unionville Road. Route 23 in each direction will feature one 12 foot wide traffic lane. Route 23 northbound will have an 8-foot left and a 10-foot right shoulder while Route 23 southbound will have a 5-foot left and a 10-foot right shoulder.
Complete Streets elements will be included throughout the new design with new sidewalks constructed where they do not currently exist and bicycle compatibility provided with the new 10-foot wide shoulders. In addition, the contractor will install new dedicated turning lanes and make traffic signal improvements at the Route 23 intersections with Loomis Avenue, Route 284 (East Main Street) and Lower Unionville Road.
Another critical aspect of the project will be the construction of a new Route 23 southbound bridge over existing freshwater wetlands, as well as the replacement of the existing Route 23 bridge over the Papakating Creek. The contractor will also build two new storm water management basins.
One lane in each direction will be maintained at all times on Route 23 during construction, utilizing traffic shifts. There are no detours planned, however, sections of the existing roadway shoulders will be closed at certain times. During construction on Walling Avenue traffic will be maintained one-way, southbound, with traffic shifts. The Papakating Creek bridge replacement will be constructed in stages while maintaining traffic in both directions at all times.
NJDOT anticipates that the project will be completed in early-summer 2015.
NJDOT briefed local officials from Sussex Borough, Wantage Township and Sussex County on the project in 2009 and has received positive feedback concerning the design. A public information center was recently held on April 17 - as well as an earlier one in 2009 - to provide interested residents and business owners with the opportunity to review exhibits of the project, ask questions and discuss issues with representatives.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for real-time travel information.