Third Lane Widening Westbound Atlantic City Expressway
Between Interchange 7 (the Garden State Parkway) and Interchange 31 (Route 73) the Atlantic City Expressway has three eastbound lanes but only two lanes in the westbound direction. When departing from Atlantic City along the Expressway, three lanes are provided in the westbound direction but the left lane is dropped immediately following Interchange 7. This creates high congestion levels as vehicles are forced to merge along the mainline of a high speed roadway. Traffic conditions are expected to continually deteriorate as traffic volumes grow without sufficient capacity to support an increase.
The Atantic City Expressway Westbound Widening project will involve the addition of a third westbound lane along the Expressway from the Garden State Parkway to Route 73. This is a length of 24.1 miles, approximately half of the length of the Expressway. Increasing the capacity of the roadway with the addition of this lane will decrease congestion and increase safety by eliminating the need for merging and reducing conflicts between vehicles.
The work under the widening project will also include bridge widenings, box culvert extensions, installation of overhead sign structures, and installation of highway lighting at interchanges. Additionally, various Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) components will be incorporated along the Expressway, including Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras, EZ-Pass Tag Readers, and overhead variable message signs. The ITS system will help to monitor traffic and emergency conditions along the roadway and provide the motoring public with vital information, advisories and traffic updates. This will help to improve upon the safety and mobility of the Expressway.
The Third Lane Widening project will occur in four phases. In the first phase, the widening will be performed from milepost 7.7 (GSP) to the Egg Harbor Toll Plaza at milepost 17.5, for a total of 9.8 miles. In phase 2 the widening will occur from the Egg Harbor Toll Plaza to milepost 24.5, for a total of 7.0 miles, and phase 3 will complete the widening up to milepost 31.8 (Route 73), for a total of 7.3 miles. The ITS components will be installed along these sections of the roadway through the course of each phase. The fourth phase will complete the installation of the ITS components along the remaining length of the Expressway, outside of the widening limits.
Construction of the first phase of the project began in September of 2009.