A?New Jersey project reached a major milestone recently when the 70-year-old Marlton Circle, where routes 73 and 70 intersect in Evesham Township, was officially eliminated when a new overpass at the grade-separated intersection was fully opened to traffic.
The circle has been re-engineered and replaced with an overpass and ramps to improve traffic flow and safety.
Route 73’s four travel lanes — two in each direction — now rise above and over Route 70’s four lanes.
“This newly configured intersection of two major highways in southern New Jersey will provide residents and visitors with safe and efficient travel for many years to come,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson. “A grade-separated intersection was the best solution for this particular traffic circle that had become overwhelmed by high traffic volume.”
The intersection currently handles approximately 90,000 vehicles per day, with projections for more than 110,000 vehicles traveling through it within 20 years.
Along with opening the Route 73 southbound travel lanes, NJDOT will eliminate a temporary left-turn lane from Route 70 westbound to Route 73 southbound. Motorists will use a new cloverleaf ramp to make that move.
A similar new ramp to accommodate motorists traveling from Route 70 westbound to Route 73 northbound is already in service. A system of new ramps provides Route 73 motorists with full access to Route 70.
The $33 million interchange improvement project began in April 2009. Additional construction elements will continue to be built off the highways with no impact to traffic. NJDOT anticipates completing the project this winter.
NJDOT worked with local officials on project details and construction scheduling to minimize inconvenience to residents and motorists.
“The foundation for the success of this project was built upon a true spirit of collaboration with local stakeholders that started years before shovels hit the ground,” Simpson said.
Both highways have remained open to traffic during all phases of construction and NJDOT has maintained access to all local businesses and properties.
The old traffic circle was modified with a cut-through for Route 73 traffic approximately 30 years ago, but even with that modification it became functionally obsolete as traffic volumes grew over the years.
There are about two dozen traffic circles in New Jersey. Circles can offer a suitable traffic management solution. At times, however, traffic volumes, physical constraints or other factors have led NJDOT to replace circles with conventional signalized intersections, grade-separated intersections or roundabouts.