A multimillion-dollar reconstruction project kicked off on 27th Street in East Camden, offering a full facelift to the area from Marlton Pike to Harrison Avenue.
The $10 million project will include upgrades to utilities, widening the street and repaving the road. The announcement came at an April 21 press conference with the Board of Commissioners and Camden City Mayor Victor Carstarphen.
“We are listening to the concerns of residents and taking the advice of experts to complete both above and below ground reconstruction of 27th Street,” said Commissioner Al Dyer, who also serves as the liaison to the Department of Public Works. “Through this project, we will improve underground utilities as well as the roadway for traffic, pedestrians, business and the overall community.”
The project, based on resident, stakeholder and community feedback, will aim to improve safety and mobility for vehicles and pedestrians through the reconstruction of the roadway, curbing and sidewalks. Upgrades will be made to all curb ramps and crosswalks for improved ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility, to the traffic signal at Berkley Street, and to signing and striping throughout the corridor.
Additionally, the project will include enhancements to the corridor with streetscape measures where feasible.
“If I interact with 10 residents, nine of those residents said to fix our streets and I can proudly say we are doing so,” Carstarphen said. “If Camden is to become a model of a 21st century city, improving our infrastructure and roadway conditions must remain a top concern. That’s exactly why I made it part of my 100-day plan and that’s why I remain committed to placing such a heavy emphasis on improving Camden’s roadways.
“The 27th Street project has been in the making for a long time and it was at the top of my to do list. Projects like this require collaboration by extraordinary partners at every level and we now have those extraordinary partners in place,” he said. “The city of Camden, the county, the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, PSE&G and Camden Community Partnership are all committed to completing this significant project, improving roadways and enhancing the quality of life citywide.”
The project will encompass 27th Street from Marlton to Federal streets and Baird Boulevard and will be completed in four phases.
“Investing in quality, safe roads for our community is a must. The newly reconstructed 27th Street is going to be a huge relief for locals,” U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, a Democrat, said. “Driving on this road is a bit like riding a rollercoaster, and not in a fun way. But thanks to strong partnerships between every level of government and residents, we’re able to start this important project to improve our streets and the quality of life for people who live here.”
The project is currently in its second phase. The first phase was conducted in 2020 and 2021, when New Jersey American Water completed water main work and later connections. In the current phase, the city and county are working together to pave the alleyways along 27th street. Phase three will upgrade the sewer system and phase four will have the county use state funds to rebuild the roadway, sidewalks and streetscape amenities.
Of the $10 million price tag, New Jersey Infrastructure Bank is providing $3.5 million to the county that will be dedicated to widening 27th Street, installing a south side parking lane with two-way travel lanes, installing new curbs, handicap ramps and sidewalks, fully reconstructing the road and putting in a new traffic signal at the intersection of Berkley Street.
An additional $81,500 is being used to pave 27th Street’s alleyways; covering sewer and stormwater upgrades will be paid for by the city through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank for $5.5 million.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation provided an additional $750,000 grant for concept development and design of the project. Completion is projected for late 2023.