Officials announce $10 million reconstruction project in East Camden

Reconstruction has begun on 27th street in Camden. The $10 million project includes improvements to sewer lines and adjacent roads. (P. Kenneth Burns/WHYY)

Reconstruction has begun on 27th street in Camden. The $10 million project includes improvements to sewer lines and adjacent roads. (P. Kenneth Burns/WHYY)

Many have called 27th Street in East Camden the worst street in the entire city. By late 2023, that will change.

Crews began reconstructing the road Thursday between Marlton Pike and Federal Street.

The project will involve rebuilding the roadway, curbs and sidewalks. As well as, improving crosswalk access for the disabled, upgrading the traffic signals at Berkley Street and replacing the combined sewer and stormwater system.

Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen said rebuilding 27th Street was at the top of his to do list when he took office last year.

“We spoke about 27th Street with my partners and my colleagues in the county every week to try to figure out a way to make this happen,” he said.

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Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen announces the start of the long awaited 27th Street construction project, a $10 million project that includes repaving and sewer system improvements. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The project will cost $10 million. Camden County will pay $3.5 million to reconstruct the road, while the city will pay $5.5 million to upgrade the stormwater and sewer system.

County Commissioner Al Dyer, who recalled riding his bike on the street as a kid and driving on it as an adult now,  said the project is “the best $10 million spent in East Camden ever.”

Camden County Commissioner Al Dyer speaks at a press conference in Camden touting the 27th Street reconstruction project. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The road surface alone has seen better days. Where officials announced the reconstruction project, patches are all over the place, as are the bumps.

“When drivers come through … you hear that in the house,” said long-time resident Chris Brown. “Sometimes it sounds like there’s an accident.”

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Camden resident Chris Brown, who with her mother, Jean, (left) has lived on 27th Street for 50 years, celebrates the start of the long-awaited 27th Street reconstruction project. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Brown, who lives with her mother Jean, said there have been accidents at least two times over the years where vehicles wiped out the white fence in front of her house.

“If it wasn’t for that little hump, the car would have been in our basement,” she added.

The road’s reconstruction was welcomed news to Brown, who has lived along 27th Street since 1972.

“This street has been a problem for a long time,” she said.

Brown also spoke during the announcement where she shared her concerns about what happens when the reconstruction is complete.

She said parking is going to be a challenge, but she also asked about how to keep drivers from speeding once the street is paved.

“I hope it doesn’t turn into a drag because they fly down here now,” she said while addressing the officials standing behind her. In addition to Mayor Carstarphen and Commissioner Dyer, Congressman Donald Norcross and City Council President Angel Fuentes were also present.

New Jersey Assemblyman William Spearman speaks at a press conference in Camden touting the 27th Street reconstruction project. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The officials said they would discuss the concerns with her later, acknowledging “they’re important questions.”

U.S, Rep. Donald Norcross announces his intention to introduce legislation to curb gas prices and stop price gouging by oil companies during a press conference in Camden. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

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