by Patricia A. Miller
The massive Route 35 construction project will come to a halt in many sections of the barrier peninsula this summer, state Department of Transportation officials said today.
The move is needed to ease congestion during the busy vacation season, the DOT said.
Ten miles of the 12.5-mile construction zone will have all travel lanes on Route 35 open, which is necessary for emergency responders and evacuation routes.
“Route 35 is the main artery along the Barnegat Peninsula connecting many Jersey Shore destinations,” DOT Commissioner James Simpson said. “We are working in partnership with our contractors, local officials, and businesses to ease congestion and limit the impact to residents and businesses during the summer, while advancing the project on an aggressive schedule to restore the shore as quickly as possible.”
• There will be no construction on Route 35 and side streets in Bay Head and Mantoloking.
• All construction in Seaside Heights, Seaside Park and South Seaside Park will be halted, but work on side streets will continue.
The $265 million project, announced in July 2013, involves construction activity along a 12.5-mile stretch of Route 35, from Berkeley to Bay Head. The project was divided into three geographical sections, with one general contractor hired for each section.
n addition to the complete reconstruction of the highway and its storm water management system, the project requires work to take place on many side streets between the highway and Barnegat Bay where underground drainage pipes, outfalls, and pump stations are being installed.
DOT contractors will resume work on Route 35 in early September, in the areas where the project is suspended during the summer.
"The Department established a very aggressive construction schedule for the contractors, with the hope that the work in the northernmost section, in Mantoloking and Bay Head, could have reached substantial completion by this summer," the DOT said. "However, work in that section will need to continue in early September."
The following summer work restrictions will be in place for DOT contractors:
Memorial Day Weekend
Work will be halted in all three sections for Memorial Day Weekend, between noon on Thursday, May 22 through noon on Tuesday, May 27.
Mileposts 0-4 in Berkeley, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, and Toms River
In this section, Route 35 is generally a divided highway, providing two travel lanes in each direction from the entrance of Island Beach State Park, extending through Berkeley, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, and Toms River. This section includes the interchange with Route 37, which is under construction and is expected to be completed by the summer work restrictions.
Mile posts 4-9 in Lavallette, Toms River, and Brick
In this section, Route 35 is generally a divided highway, providing two travel lanes in each direction. Work on Route 35 northbound in the Lavallette Business District between Brown Avenue and Bond Avenue will be halted at noon on May 22 and will resume on September 3
will continue along Route 35 northbound in Toms River and Brick as
the DOT’s contractor, George Harms Construction Company, Inc., will follow
New Jersey Natural Gas as it installs new gas lines. One northbound
travel lane and shoulder will be maintained at all times from Strickland
Boulevard in Toms River to Curtis Point Drive in Brick
Work on the other portions of Route 35 northbound will stop at noon on June 13 and will resume Sept. 3
Work on Route 35 southbound will continue through the summer with one travel lane and a shoulder maintained from Curtis Point Drive in Brick to Strickland Boulevard in Toms River. Two southbound travel lanes will be maintained from Strickland Boulevard to 6th Avenue in Toms River at all times
Work on the side streets will continue throughout the summer
Mile posts 9-12.5 in Mantoloking and Bay Head
In this section, Route 35 consists of a single roadway offering just one travel lane in each direction with shoulders.
Work on Route 35 and all sides streets will be suspended at noon on May 22 and will resume September 3
In each section of the project, Route 35 will be completely rebuilt. The new stone-and-asphalt roadway will be two feet thick, providing a more stable road and smoother driving surface.
A new storm-water drainage system for Route 35 has been designed to handle 25-year storms and will feature nine pump stations and treatment facilities to filter and purify the storm water prior to discharge into Barnegat Bay.
The project is expected to be completed in 2015.
The DOT has a hotline telephone number, 732-230-7356, and email address, email@example.com for residents to pose questions or provide suggestions as work progresses.
NJDOT also has created a project-specific website that provides information on the proposed construction activity. The site will be updated as work advances.