The board of county commissioners joined Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen on Thursday to unveil the details of a multimillion-dollar reconstruction project underway on 27th Street. This main thoroughfare through East Camden stretches from Marlton Pike to Harrison Avenue and is in need of a full facelift to upgrade utilities, widen the street and repave the surface.
“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 will aim to accomplish the following objectives, based on resident, stakeholder and community feedback:
- Improved safety and mobility for vehicles and pedestrians;
- Reconstruction of the roadway, curbing and sidewalks;
- Upgrades to all curb ramps and crosswalks for improved ADA accessibility;
- Upgrades to traffic signal at Berkley Street and improve signing and striping throughout the corridor;
- Enhancements to the corridor, with streetscape measures where feasible;
- Minimized impacts to existing overhead utilities;
- Coordination of the project with upgrade/replacement of existing combined sewer system; and
- Minimize impacts to the community during construction.
“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.”
Carstarphen said that projects like this require collaboration by extraordinary partners at every level — the city of Camden, the county, the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, Public Service Electric & Gas and Camden Community Partnership are now all committed to completing this and to 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.
The first phase was conducted in 2020 and 2021, when New Jersey American Water completed water main and later connections. The project is currently in its second phase, in which the city and county have partnered to pave the alleyways along 27th Street. Phase three will upgrade the sewer system and phase four will have the county using state funds to rebuild the roadway, sidewalks and streetscape amenities. Altogether, the project is estimated to be completed in late 2023.
The project will cost nearly $10 million, with the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank 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 and the cost of sewer and stormwater upgrades will be paid for by the city through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank for $5.5 million. The state Department of Transportation provided an additional $750,000 grant for concept development and design of the project.