Rush hour traffic and congestion could be less of an issue for Bordentown Township residents in the upcoming years.
Officials touched on those issues when they announced that the municipality was awarded a $2.1 million grant for the construction of a connector road between Rising Sun Road and Dunns Mill Road.
The road is intended to accommodate trucks and heavy duty vehicles, allowing them more direct access to the turnpike entrance and truck stops along Rising Sun Road.
Funding for the project is part of the FY 2018 Local Freight Impact Fund, made available through the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. Bordentown Township is the only municipality in Burlington County and one of only 21 agencies in the state to receive the funding. The $2.1 million awarded to the township is also the fifth highest amount received overall.
“The committee worked very hard on obtaining this grant. It comes as a result of our commitment to improving the quality of life for our residents,” Mayor Stephen Benowitz said in a press statement. “We heard and observed many issues involving truck traffic in residential neighborhoods and roadways, and we acted aggressively to apply for this funding to help fix the problem.”
With this project being on the township’s radar for over a decade, officials said their grant application included an extensive 2014 study by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Coalition that advocated for the connector road. In addition, the township conducted independent traffic counts and provided internal studies along with the application.
As it currently stands, the main issue officials say this project will address is the heavy flow of truck traffic using local roads as shortcuts along Farnsworth Avenue, Dunns Mill Road and Hedding Road to connect to the New Jersey Turnpike.
When completed, the connector road is aimed to divert truck traffic away from residential streets and offer a more direct path for trucks to travel between Interstate-295, the New Jersey Turnpike, area truck stops and new warehouse developments such as the Amazon fulfillment center nearby in Florence.
“With the construction of this connector road, the trucks will be able to get off onto Route 130, and connect directly to Rising Sun Road to the trucks stops and the turnpike and discourage them from using the residential neighborhoods as a cut-through,” Benowitz said.
As residents of Dunns Mill and Hedding Road hope to no longer deal with the superfluous amount of large trucks congesting their neighborhoods, Township Administrator Michael Theokas believes the completed project will not only benefit those homeowners, but benefit the entire community as well.
“This project will directly affect the residents living right there because the trucks won’t be passing through those neighborhoods anymore, but indirectly, it will affect everyone up here in Bordentown Township because it will hopefully lessen all the truck traffic traversing through this area,” Theokas said.
Township officials anticipate work to begin mid-2019 with preliminary design and engineering already in progress.
“Projects like this will ensure all of our residents, businesses and visitors continue to enjoy the quality of life they have come to expect and deserve,” Benowitz said.