Atlantic Avenue Road Paving Underway

By J.W. Carrington, For Atlantic City Focus

Atlantic Avenue Road Paving Underway
Atlantic Avenue paving project is underway. Source: City of Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY — The rough ride on Atlantic Avenue, complete with ruts and potholes, is almost over.

Mayor Marty Small, Sr., along with the city engineering department, announced on Wednesday, Dec. 13 during a morning news conference that street paving and traffic light synchronization has begun.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr., announces start of paving project. Source: City of Atlantic City

“The residents of the Great City of Atlantic City have been asking for us to pave Atlantic Avenue and have been asking for safety improvements in the city, and we are accomplishing both through our ‘Road Diet’ project,” said Mayor Small. “A lot of powerful people tried to stop this project, but the Small administration wanted to fight for our residents, and get this work done, without costing the taxpayers anything. Our residents and visitors deserve not only clean and safe streets, but smooth streets as well.”

Small said in a prepared statement that this is part of Phase I of the city’s ‘Road Diet’ plan, which spans from Maine to Tennessee avenues. Paving, followed by synchronization to improve traffic flow and striping under Phase I is expected to be completed before the end of next week, weather permitting. Other safety improvements under the project include the addition of brighter streetlights, ADA access at each intersection and new sidewalks. Travel lanes will be reduced from four lanes to two lanes, with a center turn lane and bike lanes on each side. But parking will not be affected.

“The Small administration has always made safety and addressing quality of life issues a priority, which brings us to our current work along Atlantic Avenue,” said City Engineer Uzo Ahiarakwe. “This project isn’t just about paving, it’s about increasing safety, especially at night, through an improved lighting system, and improving traffic flow along one of the city’s main arteries.”

Atlantic Avenue is already looking smoother in the Phase I area. Source: City of Atlantic City

The work comes at zero cost to Atlantic City taxpayers because the Small administration secured $24-million dollars between State and Federal funding for this project.

“A series of studies done by the State of New Jersey dating back to 2008 show Atlantic Avenue is one of the most dangerous roads in South Jersey from a public safety perspective, and this project should help drastically fix that,” said City Grant Consultant Jim Rutala. “It’s been a long time coming. We know people want things to happen overnight, but they can’t in a city like Atlantic City, with aging utilities that need to be repaired before further work can be done. We look forward to seeing vast improvements in Atlantic City upon this project's completion.”

Conduit installation under Phase II of the project, which occurs from Tennessee to Albany avenues, has already begun. Paving will not begin during this phase until all utility work, including the replacement of lead service lines, is complete. 

Street paving, traffic light synchronization and striping under Phase II is expected to be completed no later than Spring of 2025. Mayor Small announced plans for a ‘Road Diet’ in the Summer of 2022. Administrative and supply chain issues, along with conduit installation and sidewalk repaving, which took longer than anticipated, pushed back the start of the paving portion of Phase I of the project until now, according to the statement.

The ‘Road Diet’ is part of the Small administration’s commitment to ending traffic-related deaths in Atlantic City and improving pedestrian and bicycle safety. Other efforts include instituting a Vision Zero strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries, adding flashing speed limit signs in some of the city’s busiest areas, repairing streetlights and taking the initial steps to implement a Smart Cities Plan to allow police to control traffic signals during emergency situations and special events. The city also recently received funding to hire 30 additional police officers, some of whom will be assigned as traffic safety officers to ensure Atlantic City streets are safe.

The Atlantic City Police Department is asking pedestrians and motorists to be cognizant of temporary road closures and detours during Phase I construction and throughout the duration of the project, and to allow yourself extra time in your travels. Police will be strictly enforcing double parking violations along Atlantic Avenue.

“We are working diligently to complete this work in a timely manner, so as to not disrupt business operations along Atlantic Avenue,” Ahiarakwe said.

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