Your Tax Dollars: This State Highway in NJ — That Literally Goes Nowhere — Just Got Repaved
Your tax dollars at work: a state highway in New Jersey that -- literally -- doesn't go anywhere recently got repaved.
A few weeks ago while covering that giant forest fire in Bass River Township that closed a 25-mile stretch of the Garden State Parkway, I stumbled upon something that made me chuckle and roll my eyes at the same time.
Our travels today take us to Port Republic in the far northeastern part of Atlantic County, specifically to Route 167.
Never heard of Route 167? Practically no one has.
That's because it doesn't go anywhere.
- BE CAREFUL: These are the Deadliest Roads in NJ
A bit of history
As a highway nerd and someone who seems to store a vast knowledge of things that not many people care about, I've long been interested in Route 167, locally known as Chestnut Neck Road.
Back before the Garden State Parkway was built, if you wanted to get between Port Republic and Bass River Township, you would hop on Route 167 and drive across a little bridge over the Mullica River. Years later when the Parkway came through, it cut Route 167 in half, leaving dead ends on both sides of the river.
Route 167 was never decommissioned, so these dead-end roads remain state highways to this day.
The only way you know you are on Route 167 is by looking at a pair of mile marker zero signs where it meets Route 9.
And when I say Route 167 doesn't go anywhere, it really doesn't.
On the Bass River side, you'll drive right into a fence...
And on the Port Republic side, driving on Route 167 will take you straight into a concrete wall for the Parkway.
But because Route 167 is a state highway, they have to maintain it the same way they do any other road, like Routes 18, 37, 42, 70, etc.
As such, repaving Route 167 -- the highway to nowhere -- was included in a recent $7.2 million state-funded project to improve various roads in South Jersey.
- GO SPEED RACER, GO: Should Some NJ Roads Have an 85 MPH Speed Limit?
What about the locals?
So what's on Route 167? A handful of people live there, there are one or two marinas, and there's a public boat ramp and a monument on the corner. Truth be told, as long as you can dodge the pterodactyl-sized greenheads, the view overlooking the Mullica River from there is quite spectacular.
And, yes, those that actually use 167 deserve a road that's properly maintained. Absolutely. And it was in rather rough shape.
I just find it comical that so many highway projects in the state seem to take forever (295 & 42, I'm lookin' at you) yet one of the least traveled highways in the state is now one of the smoothest and best maintained.
Only in New Jersey...