HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — After more than seven years, motorists Friday will have complete access to Volunteer Way, officials said.
The small road parallel to the Black Horse Pike and west of McKee Avenue will connect the Wrangleboro Road jughandle to the access road instead of the pike.
The connection is to reduce traffic on the pike.
“The connector is long overdue,” Mayor John Kurtz said. “This is a great way for residents to get off the Black Horse Pike, to get away from traffic.”
The two way traffic heading into Volunteer Way from McKee Avenue will remain, but Volunteer Way is only open for one-way traffic coming off of the Black Horse Pike onto the connector road as of now.
Residents, however, say they will wait to see whether the Volunteer Way connection helps or hurts their neighborhood.
Andy Minton, who has lived in the Eaglesmere home development off Volunteer Way for four years, said he and some of his neighbors are concerned about increased traffic through their residential streets.
Most of the traffic that comes through is local, he said.
“We’re just afraid that people are going to keep driving all the way down,” through the development, he said. “Once this is open, there’s going to be more traffic coming through here.”
Kurtz agreed the road connector construction has had its pros and cons, but in the long run, it should provide an improvement for the homes and its value.
The connector road was originally part of a project to construct a 270,000-square-foot shopping plaza, which was approved in 2010. The developer, Benderson Development, got approval for the project when the recession was still hitting the area, said Phil Sartorio, township director of community planning and economic development.
The project needed additional work to be completed before the land could be cleared. The developer went before the board in January 2016 and got approval to clear the site on the condition road improvements would be a priority, Sartorio said.
Conceptually, the project had been in the works for about 13 years, Sartorio said.
A representative for Benderson Development could not be reached for comment.
The new connection will help motorists avoid “going through what’s probably one of the most congested intersections in the county,” Sartorio said.
The township plans to celebrate the opening of the road with a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. Friday.