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The New Jersey State Legislature recently passed new economic development policies that focused on attracting investment into cities with regional transportation resources, clusters of anchor institutions, and underserved populations. With initial investments from anchor institutions at Rutgers and Rowan University, the City of Camden is currently experiencing unprecedented development resulting from this unique public-private collaboration. Currently, the greatest challenge to the Camden development project is the City’s existing infrastructure.
Camden’s standing infrastructure is severely deficient in access, reliability, circulation, and connectivity. The infrastructure in the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods had been neglected for decades, resulting in serious deterioration. This has created unsafe conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. Flooding, potholes, exposed cobblestone, and inefficient circulation patterns hinder all modes of transportation and impede connections to the City’s major downtown transportation center (the Walter Rand Transportation Center).
In September 2016, EDA invested $1,469,347 in Public Works funds to support Cooper’s Ferry Partnership with the Downtown Camden Infrastructure Improvement project to reconstruct a critical street that is essential for enhancing the area. This EDA investment is expected to create at least 40 permanent jobs and leverage $80 million in additional investment, as well as provide access to educational and medical institutions.