The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) today announced that the 70-year-old Marlton Circle, where Route 73 and Route 70 intersect in Evesham Township, will officially be eliminated tonight when a new overpass at the grade-separated intersection is 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. The two Route 73 southbound lanes on the overpass will be opened to traffic for the first time tonight. The Route 73 northbound lanes were opened in March.
“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 about 90,000 vehicles per day, with projections for more than 110,000 vehicles traveling through it within 20 years, according to the state
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 about 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 left in New Jersey.
Construction information and real-time traffic updates are available at www.511nj.org.