PLANNED AS A PARKWAY: In 1932, the Regional Planning Federation (the predecessor agency to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission) proposed a network of four-lane parkways that were to be patterned after the recreational routes developed by Robert Moses in the New York area. One of the parkways was proposed along the US 206 alignment from Trenton south to the Camden-Atlantic City Parkway (which was to be constructed along the present-day Atlantic City Expressway alignment). However, without a strong "power broker" such as Moses in the Delaware Valley, the parkway system was never constructed.

A NEW FREEWAY ALONG US 206: During the late 1960's and early 1970's, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) proposed a new freeway along the US 206-NJ 54 corridor from US 30 and the Atlantic City Expressway in Hammonton south to the NJ 55 Freeway (which was to be dually signed with the proposed NJ 60 Freeway) in the Vineland-Millville area. Currently, north-south traffic in the area uses two-lane secondary roads.

The proposed US 206 Freeway was to provide a new express route for north-south traffic between connecting freeways, and furnish a bypass for the towns of Hammonton, Buena and Millville. Ultimately, the new freeway was to accommodate anticipated development in interior Atlantic and Cumberland counties.

In its 1972 report Master Plan for Transportation, the NJDOT described the US 206 Freeway as follows:

(In the Hammonton area), the construction of this freeway will allow through traffic to bypass the residential and business areas of town, reducing congestion and providing better access to the Atlantic City Expressway and points south. (Further south), this route will provide service for traffic generated in the Vineland-Millville area having a northerly destination that must presently use secondary roads.

The NJDOT estimated the cost of the proposed 21-mile-long US 206 Freeway at $47 million. However, the location of the route through the environmentally sensitive New Jersey Pine Barrens ultimately doomed construction of the freeway. By the mid-to-late 1970's, escalating construction costs and stricter environmental regulations forced officials to drop the US 206 Freeway proposal.

SOURCES: Regional Plan of the Philadelphia Tri-State District, Regional Planning Federation (1932); New Jersey Highway Facts, New Jersey Department of Transportation (1969); Master Plan for Transportation, New Jersey Department of Transportation (1972).

  • US 206 shield by Ralph Herman.


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