William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (January 12, 2022)--The repairs to one of the most dangerous overpasses in the nation, known as the “I-76 overpass Klemm Ave.” in Gloucester City, will begin in 10 days on Saturday, January 22. The repairs will shutdown a portion of Klemm Avenue, a major roadway in and out of the City indefinitely according to a press release from the Gloucester City Police Department.
From that press release,
Effective January 22, 2022, Klemm Avenue will be indefinitely closed, between Route 130 and Orlando Avenue, in both directions. The NJ Department of Transportation has notified the City that the I-76 overpass is being repaired, which necessitates the road closure for public safety reasons. This is a long-term project, so please plan accordingly. We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
In 2013 the nationalbridges.com website released the results of their study, prepared for the Federal Highway Administrator, that listed six of the most dangerous bridges in the nation.
At the top of the list was the I-76 overpass Klemm Ave. in Gloucester City, N.J. The report stated,
“The deck and superstructure are in poor condition on this 11-lane interstate overpass that dates to 1956. More than 191,000 vehicles use it every day, and $30 million has been earmarked for deck replacement.”
Tracy Connor, a staff writer for NBC News wrote in her 2013 article that the Federal Highway Administration hastens to note that labeling those six bridges as the “most dangerous” doesn't mean they are unsafe or in danger of collapse. But, at the same time transportation advocates said it highlights a growing crisis of aging infrastructure, deferred maintenance and rebuilding, and design flaws.
"We don't expect an epidemic of collapses — that's the extreme," said Dan Goldberg, communications director for Transportation for America, a coalition that identified the busiest deficient bridges in the nation in a 2011 report.
This past April the public learned that the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) was pushing the repair work on the Klemm Avenue overpass ahead in their time table for the construction of a third large road project for the connected 76/42/295 corridor. And, DOT was concerned about the poor condition of the Klemm Avenue overpass in Gloucester City.
Mark Matthews, editor of 42 Freeway calculated the cost of the full project at $175 million with the first $90 million portion for this year being the elevated roadway bridge in Gloucester City which crosses over Klemm Ave, Conrail Tracks and South Branch of Newton Creek.
This is a wide stretch of road at 11 lanes, plus three shoulder lanes; a total of 14 lanes.
The full Route 76 Bridge projects will replace four large 76 elevated roadway bridges and decking over several years, and cost $175 million. Much like the Missing Moves effort in Bellmawr.
The recent request of NJDOT is to split it into three contracts so that 76 roadway section above Klemm Ave can be addressed sooner.. as in, this year! This is due to deteriorating road and bridge conditions on the roadway over Klemm Ave., reported Matthews.
ABOVE AND BELOW--A view of the steel structure under the the Route I-76 overpass (Google Street view image)
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