Once, Egg Harbor Township and the section of the Black Horse Pike that runs through it had a rural, bucolic feel.

But not so much these days. The pike is now more four-lane highway than country road. And those median cut-throughs, which allow drivers to dash across the road from side streets or slow down for dangerous left turns from the high-speed left lane, are anachronisms. They were designed - if "designed" is even the word - for another time, for another road, for another Egg Harbor Township.

They need to go - a fact that township officials have long stressed.

The good news is that the state is finally filling in these dangerous cut-throughs. A $1.5 million project will close eight such cut-throughs on the pike between Ivins and Spruce avenues, and dedicated turn lanes will be created at Ivins, Tremont and Ridge avenues.

The not-so-good news is that while work began in January, it is now on hold because township officials say that the contractor removed more cut-throughs than expected and that the dedicated turning lanes are unsafe. If motorists going in opposite directions both attempt a turn at the same intersection from one of the new lanes, they will block each other's views of oncoming traffic, according to Peter Miller, the township's administrator.

The township is awaiting a response from the state.

Work is expected to resume in the spring, but it's difficult to understand how the project could have actually been started without the township and the state agreeing on the specifications. How does that happen?

From 2009 to 2013, there were 242 crashes on the two miles between English Creek and Spruce avenues. These cut-throughs are a danger and should have been filled in years ago. The state and the township need to get on the same page - yesterday.

Meanwhile, of course, some people are not happy with the road work. There's no doubt the cut-throughs were a convenience to people and businesses. Now folks have to sometimes drive a mile out of their way before they can make a turn.

But sorry, that's a small price to pay for eliminating these cut-throughs.

The convenience came at a dangerous price. And no road as busy as this section of the Black Horse Pike now is would ever be designed today with these cuts through the median. Here's hoping the state and the township resolve their issues quickly.


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