PLANNED AS A PARKWAY: In 1932, the Regional Planning Federation (the predecessor agency to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission) proposed a parkway system around the Philadelphia area similar to that constructed by Robert Moses. Like the Moses parkways in New York, the four-lane parkways were to feature controlled access, stone-arch bridges, timber lightposts and natural vegetation.

The plan proposed a scenic parkway extending along the eastern bank of the Delaware River from the Camden city limits north to Burlington. However, without a forceful "power broker" such as Moses to direct public works projects in the Delaware Valley, the route was never constructed.

IMMEDIATE RELIEF FOR US 130: During the late 1960's and early 1970's, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) proposed a 17-mile-long, $53 million expressway extending from the eastern approach of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in Camden north to Burlington, where the route was to terminate at I-295 near Assicunk Creek (milepost 50). Most of the US 130 (Camden-Burlington) Freeway was to be constructed on a Conrail right-of-way. The route was intended to relieve congestion on the existing north-south US 130 to the east, while providing connections to the Betsy Ross and Tacony-Palmyra bridges.

The DVRPC scheduled the proposed US 130 Freeway for completion by 1985. However, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) neither made specific plans for the US 130 Freeway, nor approved the DVRPC proposal.

The Conrail right-of-way that was to be used for the US 130 Freeway was eventually developed as the New Jersey Transit Camden-Trenton light rail line. The $600 million, 34-mile-long "River Line" light rail opened on March 14, 2004.

SOURCES: Regional Plan of the Philadelphia Tri-State District, Regional Planning Federation (1932); 1985 Regional Transportation Plan, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (1969); "Schuylkill Carries the Load of Many Roads Left Unbuilt" by Paul Nussbaum, The Philadelphia Inquirer (8/19/1984); New Jersey Department of Transportation; New Jersey Transit.

  • US 130 shield by Ralph Herman.


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