EXTENDING I-895 THROUGH BURLINGTON COUNTY: In the mid-1960's, various local and regional agencies, including the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), the New Jersey State Highway Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Highways urged construction of a new expressway between I-95 (Delaware Expressway) in Bristol, Pennsylvania and I-295 (South Jersey Expressway) near Mount Holly, New Jersey.

The Federal Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) added the proposed 6.4-mile-long expressway - Interstate 895 - to the Interstate highway system in 1968. It was to not only provide a new crossing of the Delaware River, but also serve as part of a northern bypass of the Philadelphia-Camden metropolitan area.

Soon after the BPR approved the route, the DVRPC and the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) proposed an extension of I-895 east of I-295 along the existing NJ 72. The proposed NJ 72 Freeway, which was to serve the interior of Burlington County, was to provide a connection with the New Jersey Turnpike (near EXIT 5) in Westampton Township. East of Four Mile Circle, where the existing route begins at NJ 70, NJ 72 was to be widened to a four-lane divided arterial east to Long Beach Island, Ocean County.

In its 1972 report Master Plan for Transportation, the NJDOT described the route as follows:

The NJ 72 Freeway will be a continuation of I-895, and will extend from I-295 in Burlington Township to Four Mile Circle. This freeway, in combination with I-895, will increase the attractiveness of the entire New Jersey shore area to the expanding residential and industrial complex in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, as well as provide the expanding Willingboro populace with a direct route to both Pennsylvania and the New Jersey shore.

The NJDOT estimated the cost of the 16.6-mile-long freeway at $39 million. Throughout the 1970's, the I-895 and NJ 72 proposals faced an uphill battle due to rising construction costs and pressure to divert funds to mass transit. In 1981, the NJDOT and PennDOT canceled I-895, effectively killing the NJ 72 Freeway proposal.

SOURCES: 1985 Regional Transportation Plan, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (1969); Master Plan for Transportation, New Jersey Department of Transportation (1972); "Burlington Highway Link Approved," The New York Times (9/20/1973); "Interstate 895: Administrative Action Final Environmental Impact Statement and Section 4(f) Statement," Federal Highway Administration, New Jersey Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (1973); Brian Polidoro.

  • NJ 72 and I-895 shields by Ralph Herman.


Back to The Roads of Metro Philadelphia home page.

Site contents © by Eastern Roads. This is not an official site run by a government agency. Recommendations provided on this site are strictly those of the author and contributors, not of any government or corporate entity.

Web phillyroads.com