Road projects to watch out for during trips to the Jersey Shore
The Memorial Day long weekend is upon us, marking the unofficial start of the summer season.That means outside activities with family and friends — and, of course, traffic jams if you’re headed down the shore.
According to Steve Schapiro, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, all construction projects that could impact shore traffic will be suspended from Friday morning through next Tuesday.
“The shore region is critical to our regional economy ... so we do our best to minimize construction in the shore region," he said.
Schapiro said another reason to limit construction down the shore during the summer season is “our roads are also used for emergency evacuations.”
He said there won’t be any lane closures this holiday weekend unless emergency work becomes necessary. Nevertheless, “we remind motorists to plan extra time, expect congestion particularly going to popular destinations."
Some long-term projects, where the work takes place behind barriers, will be ongoing.
Route 295, Route 76, Route 42: “We’ll have the full complement of lanes open and available but motorists should be aware that it is an active construction zone so they need to slow down, use caution,” Schapiro said.
Route 72/Manahawkin Bay Bridges: Rehabilitation of the Old Causeway Bridge has been completed allowing traffic to move in the westbound direction, while the new bridge has two lanes heading eastbound. There is work taking place in the median and on the sidewalks, but that should have little to no effect on traffic.
Later this summer, after the Memorial Day long weekend, several smaller projects in the shore region will be active Monday through Thursday nights.
Route 37 Mathis Bridge: Final testing on the lift bridge components will take place between 10 p.m. Monday and 5 a.m. Thursday. One lane of eastbound traffic heading toward Seaside Heights will be shifted onto the Tunney Bridge. That testing, beginning after Memorial Day, will take about two weeks to complete.
A handful of other smaller overnight projects will begin either later in the summer, or are underway now and will continue after Memorial Day, which could potentially have a minor impact on shore bound traffic:
Route 36 between Highlands and Hazlet
Route 40 in Franklin
Route 42 Lower Landing Big Timber Creek Bridges project in Gloucester and Deptford
Route 55 between Millville and Franklin
New Jersey Turnpike Authority spokesman Tom Feeney said there are no significant projects on either the Garden State Parkway or the Turnpike that should impact traffic down the shore, however he noted on the Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension of the Turnpike, the right shoulder will no longer be available as a travel lane for drivers traveling home from the Shore between 3 and 7 p.m. Sundays.