The state Department of Transportation is holding an information session in May to hear feedback from the public on its $27.5 million plan to ease flooding on Route 40 leading into Atlantic City.
Representatives from the state agency will present exhibits of the DOT’s draft study on May 14 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the West Atlantic City Volunteer Fire Company in Egg Harbor Township.
The proposal calls for raising a one-mile section of the road, also known as the Black Horse Pike, from Naples Avenue to Bayport Drive in the West Atlantic City section of Egg Harbor Township by 2.5 feet.
Businesses and residents along the roadway have long complained of nuisance flooding that can easily shut down one of Atlantic City’s main evacuation routes.
The DOT’s plan also calls for upgrading an existing drainage outfall at Venice Avenue and extending an existing seawall at Brenta Avenue in Egg Harbor Township. In Atlantic City, officials want to install sheeting along the ramp from Route 40 eastbound to West End Avenue to North Harrisburg Avenue and upgrade an existing drainage outfall.
“Route 40 is an evacuation route that experiences flooding conditions, primarily due to tidal surges from Lakes Bay and Beach Thorofare,” the DOT public notice reads. “As part of the improvements, existing underground and aerial utilities will need to be relocated.”
Construction would begin in fall 2021 and be completed by spring 2025.
Elevating a road is a costly and lengthy process that is rarely simple.
Cape May County spent decades elevating Sea Isle Boulevard, which runs into Sea Isle City, by more than four feet. It called for elevating the driveway and sidewalk next to each property or development, in addition to the road.
State Sen. Chris Brown is at least one state legislator concerned about the impact construction could have on the summer tourism industry and businesses along the pike.
He said last month that the state plans to reduce access on Route 40 from four to three lanes while directing drivers to the Atlantic City Expressway. Brown has asked state officials to schedule lane closures outside of the summer months.