There's good news to report for drivers who use the Atlantic City Expressway. No, the tolls aren't going down -- but it's the next best thing.

Plans are officially in the works to widen the stretch of roadway between Winslow Township and the 42 Freeway from two lanes to three.

But don't set your cruise control just yet.

As reported by NJ.com, the project, which will cost around $180 million, is currently in a preliminary design phase and groundbreaking should happen sometime in 2024.

Atlantic City Expressway in Winslow Township NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Atlantic City Expressway in Winslow Township NJ - Photo: Google Maps
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When originally announced earlier this year, the South Jersey Transportation Authority said,

The project anticipates the addition of a third lane both eastbound and westbound and will include the improvement of two bridges over Route 42 and two bridges over the Great Egg Harbor River, as well as the widening and reconstruction of 16 pipe culverts along the project route.

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Long history

Construction of the Atlantic City Expressway began in the summer of 1962 and was completed by 1965. The total cost of the 44-mile highway was just under $40 million.

According to phillyroads.com, the Expressway was widened in each direction between Atlantic City and Exit 7/Garden State Parkway, and eastbound only between Exits 31 and 7, in the mid-2000s. The westbound lanes were widened between Exits 7 and 31 in 2014.

The stretch of roadway between Route 42 and Winslow Township has been two lanes since the road opened 60 years ago.

Traffic Jam on the Atlantic City Expressway in Hamilton Township
Traffic Jam on the Atlantic City Expressway in Hamilton Township / Chris Coleman/Townsquare Media
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Obviously, South Jersey has seen tremendous growth over the past six decades.

Meeting the needs

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation and chairperson of the South Jersey Transportation Authority board, said, "It reduces traffic, relieves congestion and provides a coastal evacuation route. Adding a third lane each way ensures the road meets the needs."

Timeline

An estimated schedule has preliminary engineering happening through 2023, a final design phase from 2023 to 2024, and then construction in 2025 and 2026.

Work on the other end of Route 42

And in case you were wondering, if the Expressway is widened by 2026, work still won't be finished at the other end of Route 42. The massive construction project at 42 and Interstate 295 is scheduled to be done in 2027.

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