HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - A one-mile stretch of Route 206 between Valley Road and Brown Avenue has been targeted by the state Department of Transportation for a major overhaul that will widen the congested two-lane highway to four lanes, with construction scheduled to begin in 2022.
The improvements to Route 206 being proposed by the NJDOT are the final pieces of a comprehensive plan to widen and dualize Route 206 beginning at the Somerville Circle and ending in Hillsborough Township near the border with Montgomery Township.
The Route 206 - Valley Road to Brown Avenue project is a one-mile section of the overall plan to improve Route 206 and will include the widening of the existing roadway, eliminating left turn movements by constructing a concrete center median, and constructing jughandles for u-turn movements at new signalized intersections.
The key improvements proposed with this project include:
- The existing roadway will be widened to allow for two travel lanes in each direction and the construction of a median barrier.
- The signalized intersection at Brown Avenue will be improved to provide two lanes of traffic in each direction and jug-handles for u-turn movements.
- The existing Camplain Road signalized intersection will be removed and a new signalized intersection with northbound and southbound jughandles will be constructed approximately 0.15 mile to south.
- The Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge over Route 206 will be replaced and associated trackwork will be completed.
The DOT will need to acquire several properties along that stretch of roadway, with new stormwater retention basins and other improvements to be constructed along the project corridor.
The construction of the proposed roadway and bridge improvements will be completed in stages to maintain two-way directional traffic and access to all properties throughout the duration of the construction project..
The tentative schedule calls for design work to be completed in the fall of 2021, with right-of-way acquisition scheduled through the winter of 2021/2022. Construction is expected over a three year period through 2024.
Residents, property owners and business owners attended a DOT information meeting at the Peter J. Biondi municipal complex Monday night to get a first-hand look at the proposed project and had the opportunity to ask questions of DOT officials and engineers. Residents are encouraged to provide their input, concerns and criticisms to the DOT via email, according to Meredith Hammond, Community Relations Manager, NJDOT.
"The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is committed to developing transportation improvements that best balance the transportation needs, the environment, community concerns and costs. One of the most critical elements related to the success of a project is the relationship that NJDOT develops with a community. You are encouraged to actively participate by providing comments at the meeting or by e-mail," Hammond said..
"Route 206 has an average daily traffic volume of approximately 30,000 vehicles per day. These traffic volumes are very high for a two-lane roadway and major delays in traffic flow are currently experienced during peak travel times. The project corridor also has a high number of residential and commercial access points along both sides of Route 206," she added.
The one-mile long project will be designed to be in conformance with NJDEP Stormwater Management Rules and will require NJDEP permits for Freshwater Wetland and Flood Hazard Area disturbances that are associated with this project. A Delaware and Raritan Canal Permit will also be required.
Additional investigations for cultural resources within the project’s Area of Potential Effect (APE) were conducted in 2016. It was determined that the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge is a contributing resource to the eligible Lehigh Valley Railroad Historic District (LVRRHD). The tate Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) agreed this project will have an adverse effect to the LVRRHD; as a result an Individual evaluation was prepared and is currently being completed.
"We're excited; this is a project people have been talking about for 30 years," said Mayor Gloria McCauley. "We've worked really hard with the DOT on this and it's finally coming to fruition. It will be a tremendous benefit to the town. Alleviating traffic problems is obviously what we want to see happen."
Comments about the project may be sent Hammond via email - Meredith.Hammond@dot.nj.gov or by mail:
Community Relations Manager
NJ Department of Transportation
Office of Community and Constituent Relations
1035 Parkway Avenue, P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ 08625