A major roadway improvement will be coming to drivers of Monmouth County.

A nine point two million dollar resurfacing project on route 71 is being started and will span twelve miles from Sea Girt to Eatontown. The project will improve two deteriorated sections of the busy roadway which touches over a dozen towns in Eastern Monmouth County.

The beginning stages of construction have already begun, so drivers should expect to see construction vehicles making their way around the area, signs being put up alerting motorists, utility relocation, as well as cameras being installed.

Department of Transportation Spokesperson Tim Greely says the project will address two distinct project zones around Route 71 and Eastern Monmouth County. He notes that the resurfaces in both directions (including the shoulders) will begin in Sea Girt at mile post 1.7.

“The contractor is going to work his way northward through Spring Lake Heights, Wall, Belmar, Avon by the Sea, and through Bradley Beach just into Ocean Grove. For almost six miles.”

Greely says once that is completed there is another construction zone northward, another six mile stretch of Route 71 from north of Darlington Road in Deal through “stretches of Ocean Township, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Oceanport, and Eatontown at the northern terminates of Route 71 where it meets Route 35.”

For those already terrified by what this will do to their commute, Greely says to minimize the impact to motorists and businesses “This work is going to be done overnight, with single lane closures involving alternating traffic patterns we will maintain one lane in each direction during daytime and peak period hours.

He adds “Route 71 is an arterial highway with residents and businesses that run along both stretches of these construction zones so we’ve designed this project in a manner that should minimize the impact to them.”

Workers will be out doing construction between eight pm and six am, with certain nights traffic being closed down in alternating lanes.

Greeley notes that a good thing for residents an businesses in this community is the construction restrictions in place.

“From May 15th through September 15th , basically the entire summer season, we will restrict all construction activities that prohibit lane closures.“

He acknowledges that the DOT realizes the road is vital for getting the beach going public to the water.

“The department has designed and planned this project to keep all lanes of route 71 open during the busy summer season so we do not negatively impact motorists or businesses.”

For the millions of people who rely on mass transit to get around the area, Greeley says the DOT coordinates on a weekly basis with New Transit to inform them about the ongoing construction throughout the state.

“We’ve had numerous conversations with transit’s bus operations to ensure that we can retain access to numerous bus lines and bus stops around route 71.”

He says that between the two locations on route 71 there were varying grades of deterioration from weather and traffic which made the construction necessary.

“In some areas you have potholes, in other areas you have concrete that’s been worn down and asphalt that’s been worn down by years of use.”

Noting that it’s been at least ten years since these sections of road have been addressed, adding in some places fifteen to twenty years.

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