Unless you have been by yourself on an island in the South Pacific you are likely aware of the travesty better known as the Route 166 road project in Toms River.

We all know that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” but even in ancient times they worked at finishing the job faster than those assigned to this one.  I won’t bore you with the details because it was a cluster you know what from the get-go which you can attribute to bad timing, politics, lack of communication, lack of honesty, weather delays and some unfortunate luck.

None of that made a difference for commuters and most importantly businesses along the roadway which were dealt blow and blow from the day the project officially began in the spring of 2016.  Delay after delay tested their patience but did allow them to expand their sense of humor.

In December Larry Schuster from Schuster’s Toms River Car Wash applied to the Guinness World Records under the “slowest quarter-mile of construction ever” category (I don’t actually know if there is one) and around the same time Corinne Jewelers put a message on their electronic sign that read, “Inconveniently located but we promise we are worth the trouble.”

Work on Route 166 in front of Schuster's Car Wash in Toms River (Larry Schuster)

Both of those businesses (which are next to one another) have been staples along the road way and while they are very different have both suffered dearly over the nearly 1,100 days of this fiasco.  I visit the car wash regularly and there were times when just getting there was a challenge.

As for Corinne they are a third generation family run business that has been nothing but an asset to the area.  I bought jewelry from Mel Blumenthal in the 80’s, Craig two decades later and now Ryan.  Same great service and honesty although I do miss Mel’s jokes.

Anyway Corinne is celebrating the ending (well almost, there’s still some paving left to do) of this three-year nightmare with an “Over Construction Reduction” sale that runs today through Saturday. The entire store will be on sale up to 70% off with a few exclusions and you can enter to win $1,095 in Corinne cash which is the number of days customers had to deal with rubble and gridlock.

By the way, when you leave the jewelry store just pop on over to Schuster’s and get your car washed.