press release October 30, 2014
(BELLMAWR) – Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) hosted a meeting between DOT Commissioner Jamie Fox and local Bellmawr officials including Mayor Frank Filipek to discuss the progress of Direct Connect, the DOT’s largest construction project.
“Commissioner Fox, Mayor Filipek and I had a productive meeting to address issues as Direct Connect moves forward,” said Senator Norcross. “As with any major project, it is vital that the lines of communication between state and local officials remain open. That’s why I asked Commissioner Fox to come down today, and why we will continue to meet as the new phases of construction begin.”
Senator Norcross invited Commissioner Fox to meet with officials from Bellmawr to hear concerns and give a status update. The multi-year, billion-dollar project has been undertaken to relieve the congestion that has plagued the Rt-42/I-295/I-76 interchange. Contract 1 of the four-part project launched in 2013 and is scheduled to be completed in 2015, but local officials, countless residents, and motorists have expressed concerns over the work of the private contractor associated with the project. That contractor has not be selected for subsequent phases of the project.
“The good news is that South Jersey’s worst traffic nightmare is being addressed, and there are already recognizable improvements to congestion,” Senator Norcross went on to say. “Unfortunately, we still have several more years of road construction ahead of us. By having meetings like we did today, we can do our best to minimize the disruption this major project will cause in our commuters’ daily lives.”
Contract 2 of the project is underway as of June 2014, and Phase 3 is set to launch in 2016.