Major traffic pattern changes are now in store for motorists over all lanes of Route 9, as work begins on the replacement of the Route 72 bridge decks.
The state Department of Transportation's contractor - Lucas Construction Group - will close Route 72 eastbound and shift all traffic onto the westbound structure via a temporary crossover road to set up the new construction zone on the eastbound bridge.
The new pattern, which will begin at 8 p.m., will be at Route 72 at
Route 9, as part of phase 2 of the Route 72 bridge deck replacement over
This phase of the project will entail traffic detours and installation of a temporary traffic signal. It is anticipated that this phase of the project will cause heavy traffic delays during the morning and evening rush hours on both Route 72 and Route 9, according to Stafford police.
The new traffic patterns will be as follows (or you can visit the map here or click on the picture displayed above this article):
Motorists traveling south on Route 9 attempting to access Route 72 east:
Must exit utilize West Bay Avenue to Route 72 west and utilize the jug-handle near Stafford Square (Shop Rite) to access Route 72 eastbound.
Motorists traveling east on Route 72 attempting to access Route 9 north:
Traffic will exit onto Old South Broadway and will directed to a temporary intersection south of Route 72 near the Ocean County Southern Service Center. This temporary intersection will be controlled by a traffic signal which will allow motorist to make a left turn onto Route 9 North.
Motorists traveling on Route 9 north attempting to access Route 72 east:
There are no changes. Utilize the normal access ramp.
Motorists traveling east on Route 72:
Traffic will be diverted into one eastbound lane which will cross over the median to the westbound side of the highway until crossing the Route 9 bridge where they will cross back to eastbound after the bridge
Any questions or concerns pertaining to the construction or traffic patterns should be directed to the NJ Department of Transportation at (609)530-5587
NJDOT anticipates this traffic pattern remaining in place for approximately three months while the eastbound deck is replaced, at which time the traffic crossover will be reversed and the westbound bridge will be closed while the new deck is constructed.
Initial construction activity began in July with the contractor constructing the temporary, paved crossover lanes in the median of the highway that will be utilized in the upcoming shift. This work was constrained to the median and has not impacted mainline Route 72.
The $3.5 million, federally-funded project is needed to replace the existing structurally-deficient bridge decks that carry Route 72 over Route 9. The existing 8-inch thick deck slabs will be replaced with 9-inch thick cast-in-place concrete slabs, resulting in a slight raise in the roadway profile.
New bridge approach slabs will be added at all four approaches. The construction contract also includes sandblasting and painting of the bridge superstructures.
Traffic management for this project is being closely coordinated with the ongoing work on the Manahawkin Bay Bridges project, about three miles to the east heading into Ship Bottom. The DOT is hoping for a late spring 2014 date for the project.
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 www.511nj.org for real-time travel information.