TOMS RIVER — Crowds heading to the Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday could face summer-like crowds because of winter roadwork.

The Matthis Bridge, which brings traffic on Route 37 eastbound into Seaside Heights, is down to just one lane until the summer season starts at the end of May. As many as 8,000 drivers could create slow traffic headed to the Plunge, which starts at 1 p.m. with check-in at 9 a.m.

The boardwalk will be lined with supporters as the plungers dive into the chilly Atlantic Ocean in support of the Special Olympics.

Two lanes on the outbound on the Tunney Bridge will be open.

This winter's work on the 65-year-old bridge is the final round of work in the $74 million project.

The DOT suggests using Route 35 from Brick to enter Seaside Heights from the north.

From the Garden State Parkway

From the North

  • Take the Garden State Parkway south to exit 98 for Route 34 South.
  • Follow Route 34 South, which will become Route 35 South.
  • Continue on Route 35 South over the Manasquan River Bridge and proceed for several miles.
  • Route 35 South will become a two-lane roadway. Follow signs toward Seaside Heights.

From the South

  • Take the Garden State Parkway north to exit 90 (Brick Township).
  • Turn right onto Chambersbridge Road.
  • Continue through seventraffic lights to the intersection of Mantoloking Road/CR 528.
  • Turn left and follow Mantoloking Road to end.
    Turn right onto Route 35 South and proceed for several miles.
  • Route 35 South will become a two-lane roadway. Follow signs toward Seaside Heights.

From the West via Interstate 195

  • Head east on I-195 to Exit 35A for Route 34 South (Brielle).
  • Follow Route 34 South, which will become Route 35 South.
  • Continue on Route 35 South over the Manasquan River Bridge and proceed for several miles.
  • Route 35 South will become a two-lane roadway. Follow signs toward Seaside Heights.