Bay Head is hoping the New Jersey Department of Transportation follows through with a promise to be out of the borough with a fully-paved Route 35 by May 22.

Route 35 construction (Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media NJ)

"I have to take them at their word for it," Mayor Bill Curtis said at a recent Mayor's Association meeting in Toms River.

He said the reconstruction project is hurting Bay Head. "Right now every business on Route 35 is down 40 to 50 percent, if not more."

Residents are being inconvenienced too. Crews have built ramps for homeowners, but there have been problems with the notification procedure.  "The notification ahead of time is spotty, and people wake up in the morning and they can't get out of their driveways, and that's a tough thing," Curtis said.

Curtis said the DOT has told him that if work isn't wrapped up by May 22, crews will not be back until after Labor Day.

What does that mean?  "Fully paved road with shoulders, parking in Bay Head on both sides of the road, and side streets will be open as usual," Curtis said.

He said most people haven't come to Bay Head to see it, adding walkovers are done and the beaches are ready.  "All I can say is we will be open and fully functional this summer," Curtis said.