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A.C. mayor heralds start of Atlantic Avenue paving project

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Atlantic Avenue will soon be smooth and its lights synchronized, promised Atlantic City's mayor as he announced the start of the much-anticipated street paving project.

"It's not just a great day in the city of Atlantic City," Mayor Marty Small said as he stood in the street Wednesday. "It's yet another historic day under the Small administration as we start paving Atlantic Avenue."

The work comes courtesy of $24 million in state and federal funding secured by the city.

“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," said Uzo Ahiarakwe, the city's engineer. "We are working diligently to complete this work in a timely manner, so as to not disrupt business operations along Atlantic Avenue.”

Underground conduits are being put in so that the road will not need to be dug up again after the work is complete. The installation, part of Phase II, is being done from

Conduit installation under Phase II of the project, which occurs from Tennessee to Albany avenues/

Street paving, traffic light synchronization and striping under Phase II is expected to be completed no later than Spring of 2025. 

New signs will also be reflective so that they can be easily seen at night, Ahiarakwe said.

"Atlantic Avenue is one of the most dangerous streets in the state of New Jersey," Small said. "I know a couple of people who died on Atlantic Avenue, unfortunately. This is worth taking a chance."

The project was dubbed a Road Diet, because it will include reducing the current four-lane road to two lanes, while adding a bicycle lane on each side.

"The residents deserve not only clean and safe streets but smooth streets," Small said.

The untimed traffic lights that have long been a complaint from drivers will also be shed, as a synchronized lighting system is installed both on Atlantic and Pacific avenues.

The change will also allow the city to control traffic flow both during big events and in case of an emergency.

“It’s been a long time coming," said Jim Rutala, city grant consultant. "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.”

Funding also will include 30 new police officers, with several assigned to traffic safety.

The Atlantic City Police Department is asking pedestrians and motorists to be aware of temporary road closures and detours during Phase I construction and throughout the duration of the project. The department suggests allowing extra travel time.

Police will be strictly enforcing double parking violations along Atlantic Avenue.

author

Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Sunday, May 19, 2024
STEWARTVILLE
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