Commissioners and Mayor Celebrate Completion of $10 Million Reconstruction Project of 27th Street

Share this:

The street was dedicated to 27th Street native Heisman trophy winner Mike Rozier


(Camden, NJ) – On Tuesday, the Board of Commissioners joined Camden City Mayor Victor Carstarphen, elected officials and the Camden community to celebrate the completion of the $10 million reconstruction project on 27th Street. 

“This was a huge undertaking but a necessary one,” said Commissioner Al Dyer, who also serves as the liaison to the Department of Public Works. “Through this project, we have been able to completely transform this roadway into a strong piece of county infrastructure that is set to last decades. We want to thank all our community partners for working with us to accomplish this and especially for their patience while this work was being done.”       

The project encompassed 27th street from Marlton to Federal streets and Baird Boulevard and was completed in four phases.

“The 27th Street reconstruction has been long awaited and the renaming of the street after Camden legend Mike Rozier tops-off a historic day,” said Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen. “It is a celebration of real tangible progress for the East Camden community. The transformational project was completed thanks to an incredible collaboration with Camden County. I commend the Camden County Commissioners for making this $10 million dollar investment in our community. If Camden is to become a model 21st century City, improving our aging infrastructure and improving roadway conditions must remain a top concern”. 

The project aimed to accomplish the following objectives based on resident, stakeholder and community feedback: 

  • Improved safety and mobility for vehicles and pedestrians
  • Reconstruction of the roadway, curbing and sidewalks
  • Upgrades to all curb ramps and crosswalks for improved ADA accessibility
  • Upgrades to traffic signal at Berkley Street and improve signing and striping throughout the corridor
  • Enhancements to the corridor with streetscape measures where feasible
  • Minimized impacts to existing overhead utilities
  • Coordination of the project with upgrade/replacement of existing combined sewer system
  • Minimize impacts to the community during construction

“The 27th Street reconstruction project was a much-needed improvement for the City of Camden and its residents,” said Assemblyman Bill Moen. “This project was carefully completed in four phases to provide vital safety improvements, both for vehicles and pedestrians. We are grateful to our partners at the NJ DOT as well as the NJ I-Bank for their support in getting this project done.”

The project cost nearly $10 million, with the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank providing $3.5 million to the county that was dedicated to widening 27th Street, installing a south side parking lane with two-way travel lanes, installing new curbs, handicap ramps and sidewalks, fully reconstructing the road and putting in a new traffic signal at the intersection of Berkley Street.  An additional $81,500 was used to pave 27th Street’s alleyways and the cost of sewer and stormwater upgrades was paid for by the city through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank for $5.5 million. The state Department of Transportation provided an additional $750,000 grant for concept development and design of the project. 

“NJDOT supports important projects like the rebuild and rehabilitation of 27th Street”, said New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Acting Commissioner Francis O’Connor.  “At NJDOT we are proud to partner with Camden County on impactful transportation initiatives like this one.”

The street will also be dedicated to Mike Rozier, a former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner who grew up nearby and attended Woodrow Wilson High School. After high school, Rozier spent his freshman year at Coffeyville Junior College in Kansas, leading that team to a 9-0 season. He then went on to play for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhuskers and won the Heisman Trophy in 1983. That same year he was the recipient of the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp’s Player of the Year.

After college, Rozier was the number one draft pick in the USFL by the Pittsburgh Maulers and then played for the Jacksonville Bulls the following year prior to the USFL disbanding. Rozier was chosen in the NFL supplemental draft by the Houston Oilers in 1984, where he played for seven years. He finished his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 1991 and was inducted into the 2005 inaugural class of the Camden County Sports Hall of Fame, the 2005 class of the New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame, and the 2006 class of the College Football Hall of Fame.

“It is hard for me to find the proper words to express my sincere gratitude to a community and school system that gave me so much as a child and propelled me to the very top of college football at the University of Nebraska and then in the NFL,” Rozier said. “My family grew up on this street, me and my five brothers were always out playing some kind of game in around 27th Street. Furthermore, I can’t say enough about the community here in East Camden, it played a pivotal role in who I am today and was an important part of the village I grew up in. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my coaches at Wilson that got me to a place where a program like Nebraska would look at me. And no matter where I was for work or college Camden was always home, everybody knows I’m a Camden kid and this city is in my blood. In short, I want every kid in this city to know that my legacy can be their legacy too, this city creates strong, resilient, people that can accomplish anything. Trust me, I’m a prime example.”  

Katrina McCombs, superintendent of the Camden City School District, discussed the significance of dedicating 27th Street to a former student who has accomplished so much.

“The renaming of 27th Street could not have come at a better time as we are preparing for the construction of new Eastside High. It allows us to recognize and celebrate the outstanding achievements of one of our very own Eastside High alumni,” McCombs said. “His journey from the fields of Eastside High and beyond embodies the spirit of resilience, hard work, and commitment that we strive to instill in all our students.”

City Council President Angel Fuentes expressed his excitement over the highly anticipated completion of the project.

“This is an incredible moment for our East Camden residents,” said Camden City Council President and former Woodrow Wilson alumni, Angel Fuentes. “So many residents along the street take great pride in their property, but the old roadway conditions were awful. It was the worst road in the city if not the county. The wait is finally over as we cut the ribbon today and honor a former high school peer of mine from Woodrow Wilson High School, alumni Mike Rozier.  Our residents were delighted by the dedication and ecstatic with the new road surface, sidewalks, and paved rear alleys.” 


To view photos of the celebration, click here!