(Trenton) - The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) today announced the start of construction on a project to widen and improve the Route 168 (Black Horse Pike) intersection with Benigno Boulevard in Bellmawr Borough, Camden County.
“This is a cost-effective solution that will reduce congestion on the local roadway system in Bellmawr and provide better traffic flow at this important intersection,” Commissioner James Simpson said.
Route 168 carries one lane of traffic in each direction through the intersection with a dual-use turning lane located in the median. All lanes on Route 168 will be maintained between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. during construction, with traffic shifts in place utilizing the existing highway shoulders. During overnight hours, single-lane closures may be implemented on each roadway, with traffic shifts and alternating traffic patterns. During a later stage of construction Benigno Boulevard eastbound to Route 168 will be closed and detoured. Notification will be provided in advance of that traffic impact.
The $1.8 million state-funded project aims to improve safety and reduce congestion by widening the intersection to allow for safer and more fluid turning movements for large trucks. Currently the intersection is too small for large trucks, forcing some to swing into the opposing lanes when turning, which can cause traffic backups on the highway and contributes to accidents.
Benigno Boulevard eastbound will be widened to include two dedicated turn-lanes – a left-turn lane for traffic headed to Route 168 northbound and a dedicated right-turn lane for traffic headed to Route 168 southbound and the New Jersey Turnpike. Benigno Boulevard currently features only one travel lane at the intersection, which leads to traffic backups for motorists headed to Route 168 during peak travel periods.
A new traffic signal will be installed to accommodate the new turn movements at the intersection. New sidewalks and curbing will be provided and drainage improvements will also be made at the intersection. To eliminate motorist confusion, the two separate driveways from Route 168 northbound to adjacent motel properties will be combined.
Benigno Boulevard is the first intersection on Route 168 located immediately to the north of New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 3. The local roadway serves as a connection to Route 42 northbound.
Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for construction updates and real-time travel information.