Alps' Roads Special - South Jersey Road Meet
South Jersey Invitational Road Meet, December 18, 2010
I was inspired to hold this meet by someone interested in seeing construction on NJ 52, and decided it would be even more fun if more interested people came along, and it involved into something more than an informal get-together. We saw a lot of special things that day. But the highlight was Santa.
The meet route started simply enough, I-287 to US 206, Somerset CR 601 and back to 206, straight on old Alternate US 1 into Pennsylvania. We cut down to the original Lincoln Highway on Trenton Rd. for awhile (so old it's not even Business 1), then came up PA 413 to Business US 1 and back down PA 513 into Philadelphia. The route continued on US 13 SB, PA 63 (Woodhaven Rd.) back to I-95, NJ 90 to NJ 73, and the next right to eventually get to Park Ave., Camden CR 621. In Camden County: CR 537 west to CR 613 SB, forced right onto NJ 38, exiting at Marlton Pike (original NJSHR 40) to follow CR 601 into Camden and down to the waterfront for I-676 Ben Franklin Bridge photos.
Leaving Camden, we drove south on Delaware Ave., clinching the one block of CR 737, then turned left on CR 537 to show off the drawbridge and former NJ 151 (now reconstructed into a bunch of regular streets), back into town on 537 and looped around to MLK Blvd. (formerly Mickle Blvd.) to I-676 SB and NJ 76C (Walt Whitman Bridge Connector) to NJ 168 We checked out old signs at Spur CR 551 and CR 653, still in Camden County, continued down CR 653 to NJ 41, and headed back west on CR 659 (Gloucester Pike) to US 130 and thence to CR 551. Our last pre-meet stop was Red Bank and National Park via Gloucester CR 644, clinching CR 638 while there and visiting Red Bank Battlefield. On the way back out we clinched CR 642, finished 644 to the east, and crossed NJ 47 on CR 646 to get to one more clinch with CR 645 before turning east on CR 544 and heading to the Phily Diner (actual spelling).
The meet continued our route on CR 544, east to CR 561 and the four lettered pieces of 561, former alignments that were never downgraded to lower-numbered county roads. Three of them are around Gibbsboro, and one is in Cedar Brook while 561 is merged with NJ 73. The meet turned east from 73 on Central Ave. to check out NJ 143, heading south on Hay St. (Camden CR 726) to Albertson Rd. (CR 725) to NJ 73 south. But we never found 73 because it was signed as 561 (not even Spur 561, which the county thinks it is), so we ended up following Piney Hollow Rd. to US 322 before heading east to NJ 50 to Mays Landing, where I showed off the old arrow featured on that page. The route from there followed CR 559 to Alt. CR 559 for its entire length to US 9, south to NJ 52, and across the under-construction Causeway Bridge to Ocean City for bridge photo opportunities.
The next stop was an old favorite. The meet headed out of Ocean City by following Cape May CR 656 to Roosevelt Blvd., CR 623, out to US 9 NB until it ends. That's where to find the Garden State Parkway Beesley's Point stub, the former tie-in to 9 before the Great Egg Harbor Bridge was constructed, as well as the closed and semi-abandoned (but due for repair) US 9 Beesley's Point Bridge. After some trepidation, the group walked around the barrier, started down the bridge, and had an incredible time in the snow:
From left to right in the first photo: Ian Ligget, Jack the friendly bridge keeper and storyteller (not a troll, no three questions), yours truly, Doug Kerr, Laura Bianca, Michael Pruett. Almost exactly in reverse for the second photo. Click on either one for a closeup.
The route back to the diner was the first major turn back from US 9 (Cape May CR 662) into CR 631 to NJ 50, north to NJ 49, and west to Cape May Ave., also known as Atlantic CR 666. Ian and his father left the meet halfway up, once we found shields that hadn't been stolen for their Satanic value, and the rest of us bravely finished off the demonic highway, following CR 557 to US 40 WB, NJ 55 NB, and Exit 58 to NJ 41. After a post-meet dinner, the route back was NJ 168 to I-295, with a detour to grab US 130 between 168 and US 30. We ended up meeting a friend in New Brunswick via 295 to US 130 at Exit 57, and the remainder of the route was NJ 171 and Commercial Blvd. north to NJ 18 NB, River Rd. (Middlesex CR 622) to I-287 and home.
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