Extension of Burns Avenue, related road works, carried out by Thanksgiving
VINELAND – A brand new straight line connecting South Lincoln Avenue to Burns Avenue across South Main Road is currently in service, and the entire road safety project will be completed in the coming weeks.
The Burns Avenue extension is the centerpiece of a three-pronged road construction effort in the high traffic area. The nearby Route 55 interchange and the Millville border generate much of this traffic, and the ongoing development of a private industrial park next to Lincoln Avenue will add to it.
Cumberland County ordered work on the extension to continue on May 10, and it has been in use since October. The extension and associated road works on the east side of the main road is a county effort, with Vineland doing related road work on the opposite side.
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For his part, Vineland reported that the mobilization began on November 3 on the pre-existing part of Burns Avenue. The avenue will be reworked from Main Road, where the entrance is now sealed, west to the boulevard.
The entire project is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving Day and in time for vacation buyers to benefit from the new and improved road system, according to county and Vineland officials. South State Inc. is the contractor for the county and city.
On Friday afternoon, the redesigned intersection where South Lincoln Avenue and South Main Road meet just north of Route 55 was reopened to traffic.
A large concrete island at the intersection allows vehicles heading towards Vineland to continue moving right onto Avenue and East Vineland.
However, vehicles heading from Lincoln Avenue to South Main Road can only turn right at the stop sign and then travel north. Previously, drivers could take an often risky left turn, head south on the national highway or into Millville.
The overall goal of county and city businesses is to dramatically reduce congestion, delays and dangers created by the convergence of Lincoln Avenue and the main road as well as the proximity of their intersection to Exit 25 of route 55.
Vineland also wants to make the drive from Main Road to the Boulevard more appealing, especially since it’s a quick connection to the malls on South Delsea Drive.
What drove the draft of a plan several years ago to real work was the need to improve access to a new industrial park being built on Lincoln Avenue along Highway 55 and close to the city’s newest power station.
Many passing vehicles stop at the Riggins Oil gas station and, or, the Heritage convenience store co-located at the meeting point of these roads. Getting out of this area, especially at high traffic points, is often difficult.
Mike Smith, an East Vineland resident stopping for a gas tank, said the extension made his commute easier and gave him an option other than using Route 55 to get to his supermarket in Millville.
Brandon Sanchez, a Vineland resident who works at the gas station, has used the extension several times before.
âIt’s quite nice, very smooth,â Sanchez said. “I really like it.”
Sanchez said some drivers are a bit reckless, like taking corners at high speed. Extension is a welcome alternative route, he said.
âI find it more convenient to have a more controlled street, the lights and everything,â Sanchez said. âIt’s just convenient, to be there and to beâ¦ organized. It’s pretty awesome.
Joe Spinelli, driver for J. Spinelli & Sons, travels regularly from the company’s base in Pittsgrove to Riggins station to refuel. This done, he immediately returns to Main Road and south on Route 55.
âIt’s a crazy area,â Spinelli said of the difficulties merging with the traffic. He hadn’t tried the extension yet.
Spinelli is not sold on the change of traffic model at the Lincoln-Main intersection. He questioned the elimination of the possibility of turning left, towards the freeway.
âThey could have just put a traffic light,â Spinelli said. âWe need a light here. It’s so hard to get out of here with that, because the traffic on the main road is so busy. You’ll see when I go. I almost always have to withdraw in front of someone. I try so hard not to do it. But what if we had a light?
County engineer Douglas Whitaker said the idea of ââthe traffic lights at the intersection had been discussed for years, but was not feasible due to the traffic coming from the interchange. route 55.
âThey are so close to each other that they would back away from each other,â Whitaker said. “It would just be a mess.”
The Cumberland County Improvement Authority managed the county road improvements, including the acquisition of properties at the corners of Main Road. The extension consists of two asphalt lanes, with a lighted intersection at the Main Road intersection.
An island and signage at the east end of the extension allow traffic to easily turn to and from Lincoln Avenue.
Gerard Velasquez III, CCIA President and CEO, said the extension road still needed a final topcoat of paving, but that was not reason enough to delay its opening to the circulation.
âHoliday traffic will not be affected since the pavement is already open and operational,â Velasquez said. âThe final topcoat on Burns can be done while the road is open. “
Maillet said what’s coming up for Burns Avenue, between Main Road and the Boulevard, is pretty standard road improvement work.
âIn addition to milling and paving, we will be installing a beam guide rail at the culvert passage, creating a shallow roadside ditch to mitigate pavement flooding and replace driveways as needed,â said Maillet. “I have full confidence that Burns Avenue will be open to traffic from Lincoln Avenue to Boulevard by Black Friday.”
Joe Smith is a native of NE Philly who transplanted to South Jersey over 30 years ago, now keeping an eye on the South Jersey government. He is a former editor and current editor of the Vineland Daily Journal, the Cherry Hill Courier-Post and the Burlington County Times.
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