Bright Side Recent News

Creek Food Mart (in Newly Named “Creek Plaza) Set to Open in March

The new “Creek Food Mart” in Bellmawr (across from Bellmawr Lake) is set to open in March, 2021.

The food mart is the first tenant that will open in the strip that had been sitting mostly vacant and dilapidated for years.

All of the units there have been undergoing major renovations for some time now, and it is a welcoming sight.

Rendering of the soon to open Creek Food Mart credit: Harpeet “Bobby” Singh.

We recently spoke with the owner, Harpeet “Bobby” Singh and he said that he bought the property last year.

In addition to the food market, Singh said that he is communicating with other potential tenants and “would welcome them.”

SJO Photo

Singh who lives in nearby Deptford, said that the food mart is something he is bringing to Bellmawr because he would like to give the community something that is easy, convenient, reasonable, and affordable.

Harpeet “Bobby” Singh bought the strip stores across from Bellmawr Lake and has been renovating them. (SJO photo)

Singh stressed that town officials have been very accommodating to him as he renovates the property.

Of the renovations on a former eye sore and the potential for new business at that location, Mayor Chuck Sauter said: “We are so fortunate.”

I grew up down the street from here (in the “Dead End”) and it’s great to see new life being breathed into these stores.

We’ll provide updates as new tenants move in….hopefully soon!

Feature Stories Recent News

Route 130, Bridge Over Timber Creek Reconstruction Project Expected to Go Out for Bid Later This Year; Project to Improve Roadway drainage at West Brooklawn Circle.

The Route 130, Bridge over Timber Creek project is expected to go out for bid later this year pending the completion of right-of-way agreements and permitting, and the resolution of utility conflicts, said Brian Ahrens, Public Information Officer for the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT).

The purpose of the project is to replace an existing bridge over Timber Creek and improve roadway drainage at the west Brooklawn Circle.

SJO recently sent an email to NJDOT asking when the project was projected to start and we also requested a copy of the project plan that was presented during a Public Information Session in March, 2019.

Click image to enlarge:

On December 17, 2020, the Westville governing body finally adopted Ordinance No. 12-2020, which authorizes the execution of an agreement of sale between the Borough and the Commissioner of Transportation for a conveyance of a portion of Block 11, Lot 1, which is owned by the Borough for the Route 130 Bridge over Big Timber Creek Project.

According to the March, 2019 Public Information Meeting Notice:

The Proposed Project

The existing 5-span bridge over Big Timber Creek will be replaced with a 3-span continuous bridge while maintaining the existing roadway and bridge profile.

The new bridge opening will accommodate required hydrologic and hydraulic requirements and satisfies the minimum clearance of 14’-0”.

A new fender system will be installed at the center span to accommodate the navigational channel with a clear horizontal opening of approximately 100’-0”.

The total out-to-out new bridge width will be 91’-2”, which is approximately 19’-0” wider than the existing bridge.

Additional proposed improvements along Route 130 also include the following:

  • Full depth reconstruction, milling, and resurfacing
  • A concrete curb/barrier along southbound New Broadway Road to retain the high tide water away from the roadway.
  • A stormwater basin to reduce flooding frequency during high tide event.
  • Retaining wall along southbound Route 130 to minimize environmental impacts
  • Improve outside shoulder width to 8’ within the limits of the project
  • ADA compliant sidewalks and curb ramps

Construction will be divided into multiple phases to optimize traffic operations and minimize traffic impacts to the traveling public.

Advance construction warning signs will be posted to inform motorists of upcoming work and lane closures.

State Police oversight is anticipated for this operation.

Estimated Project Schedule (based on funding availability)
Design: 2018-2020
Construction: 2020-2023

There’s a Facebook Group For That!

Whenever there are heavy rains, a hide tide, or a full moon, there is always the burning question: Will the Brooklawn Circle flood today?

To help with that, our friend Mark Matthews (who runs the website 42 Freeway) started the Facebook group: Is the Brooklawn Circle Flooded? The group currently has 4,100 members and information is shared about the current flooding status at the circle.

Mark said that he started the group out of necessity. People were always asking in other town Facebook groups if the circle was flooded. He added that he founded the group “partially, tongue in cheek. I never expected 4,000 + members.”

Police & Fire Recent News

Couple Found Dead Inside Audubon Home; Deaths Ruled Murder-Suicide

*Update January 12, 2021:

The deaths of an Audubon couple have been determined to be the result of a murder-suicide, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer and Audubon Police Chief Thomas Tassi.

Following an autopsy on Jan. 12, a medical examiner determined Jane Venable, 64, of Audubon, died from multiple gunshot wounds and her Manner of Death was ruled a homicide.

The medical examiner determined the death of Kevin Venable, 63, of Audubon, to be from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and ruled the Manner of Death as suicide.

Police responded to the couple’s home on the 100 block of Oakland Ave. in Audubon around 1 p.m. on Jan. 11 for a report of two people found deceased.

A witness told officers they hadn’t heard from the couple since Saturday.

*Post was updated on January 12, 2021 at 8:58 p.m.

Bright Side Recent News

Impact100 South Jersey Women’s Collective Giving Initiative to Award $200K in Grants to Local Nonprofits

CHERRY HILL, NJ   Impact100 South Jersey announced that it will award $200,000 in grants to local nonprofits as a result of its fall 2020 collective giving membership drive.

Members gathered virtually on Wednesday, Jan. 6 for the Big Reveal and celebration.  

The event was held to share the number of members who have joined and the total raised for grantmaking in 2021.  

This brings the total funds raised collectively by Impact100 South Jersey members to over $624,000 since 2017.

“With such a tremendous increase in need in our region, it’s been very rewarding to see how our generous members have responded, in a year that has been very challenging for many,” said Membership Co-Chair Angela Venti.  “On behalf of the Impact100 Leadership Council, I’d like to express our deep appreciation for the way our new and existing members embraced coming together virtually in lieu of in person events, which we miss so much.  We look forward to the time soon when we can bring our members together in person again to strengthen the bonds within our collective women’s giving community.”

Now that the fundraising total has been announced, Impact100 grant review volunteers will begin the process of awarding one $100,000 Core Mission Grant and two $50,000 General Operating Grants to nonprofit organizations that serve Burlington, Camden, Gloucester or Cumberland Counties.  

Grants will be awarded in three focus areas:  Women, Children and Families, Arts & Culture, and Community Health & Well-Being. 

Once the grant review process is complete, members will come together for an Annual Meeting in June to hear from finalist organizations and vote to determine which will receive the grants.

“In spite of the many issues brought on by the pandemic, South Jersey women have risen to the occasion,” said Membership Co-chair Lauren Regina.  “We are thrilled that we’ll still be able to support local organizations in a significant way during a time when they’re facing unprecedented challenges.”

About Impact 100

Impact100 South Jersey is a women’s collective giving initiative that strives to recruit at least 100 women who donate $1,000, intending to award at least one $100,000 Core Mission Grant to a local organization.  

Since launching in 2017, Impact100 South Jersey has awarded $274,000 in Core Missions grants to LUCY Outreach in Camden, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Cumberland and Salem Counties and Hopeworks ‘N Camden.  

General Operating Grants totaling $141,000 have been awarded to Alice Paul Institute in Mt. Laurel, Family Promise of Southern NJ in Glassboro, Hispanic Family Center of Southern NJ and Ronald McDonald House of Southern NJ in Camden.  

In 2019, the organization also awarded an additional $9,360 to the South Jersey COVID Response Fund and Cathedral Kitchen in Camden.

Impact100 South Jersey is a Field of Interest Fund at the Community Foundation of South Jersey.

Impact100 is a global initiative that combines the financial resources, expertise and talents of women who want to be part of making transformative change in their own communities.  

There are dozens throughout the United States and several more in Australia.  

Feature Stories Recent News

Traffic Advisory: I-295 SB/Al-Jo’s Curve to Route 42 SB/I-295 SB To be Closed & Detoured

(Trenton) – New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials announced overnight closures next week of the I-295 southbound ramp to Route 42 southbound and I-295 southbound as the Direct Connection project advances in Bellmawr, Camden County. 

Beginning at 9 p.m., Monday, January 11, until 5 a.m. the next morning, and continuing Tuesday, January 12 and Wednesday, January 13 from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., the next day, NJDOT’s contractor, South State, Inc., will close the I-295 southbound ramp to Route 42 southbound and I-295 southbound, also known as Al-Jo’s Curve, for the installation of a flashing warning beacon at Exit 26. All motorists traveling on I-295 southbound will be directed to stay left onto Exit 26.

The following detour will be in place overnight:

I-295 southbound to Route 42 southbound/I-295 southbound detour:

  • Motorists traveling on I-295 southbound to Route 42 southbound will be directed to exit left at Exit 26/I-76 westbound
  • Take I-76 westbound to Exit 2/I-676 northbound
  • Take I-676 northbound to Exit 1/Collings Avenue
  • Turn right onto Collings Avenue
  • Turn left onto I-676 southbound which becomes I-76 eastbound
  • Take I-76 eastbound to Exit 1A/I-295 southbound

The work is part of the Direct Connection project that will provide a seamless route for I-295 motorists traveling through the interchange of I-295, I-76, and Route 42.

The Direct Connection project has been divided into four separate construction contracts, with completion of the fourth and final contract expected in the fall of 2024.

NJDOT’s project website provides construction activity schedules and updates.

Portable variable message signs are being utilized to provide advance notification to the public of all traffic pattern changes associated with the work. 

The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. 

Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website for real-time travel information and for NJDOT news follow us on Twitter @NJDOT_info.