The Route 295-Route 42 criss-crossing merge—the scourge of thousands of commuters every day—will be a thing of the past as of this weekend, with an interim exit ramp opening from Route 42 as one of the first major milestones of the $900 million Direction Connection project, New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials announced Wednesday.
The new ramp, which will split off from Route 42 just past the Creek Road overpass to eliminate the merge, should open by 10 a.m. Sunday, NJDOT officials said, after contractors install sign supports, a median to cut off the old merge and re-stripe the area.
That work will require overnight closures Saturday into Sunday, officials said, with one lane of Route 295 shut down and detours going into effect from around 9 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday.
Drivers heading from Route 295 northbound who want to get on to Route 42/76 will have to stay on Route 295, get off at Exit 28 at the Black Horse Pike and double back down Route 295. Drivers on Route 42 northbound headed for Route 295 northbound will have to double back after getting off at Market Street.
Once the work is complete, a median barrier will cut off the current criss-cross merge, but drivers will still be able to exit Route 295 northbound on to Route 42, via a new exit lane that will drop drivers just beyond the Browning Road overpass, officials said.
The exact timing of this weekend's work is subject to weather and other factors, NJDOT officials said, and drivers who can avoid the area from Saturday night into Sunday should do so, or plan alternate routes if possible.