Get ready for long-term lane shift on a short hop of Route 166 in Toms River, from Route 37 to Old Freehold Road.

Traffic jam
Maciej Korzekwa

Starting Wednesday night at 10, contracted crews will begin moving traffic to one lane in each direction on the northbound side, creating a work zone on the opposite side for installation of construction barriers and roadway striping.

It also closes the jughandle from westbound 37 to southbound 166. Drivers will be diverted to the Southbound Route 9-Garden State Parkway ramp, along the overpass, and returning to eastbound 37 via Exit 82 to turn right on 166 for downtown.

The work is part of an $11,700,000 overhaul by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), familiar to drivers who frequent the intersection.

When it's done, there will be a raised median barrier separating opposite lanes, new traffic signals from Highland Parkway to Old Freehold Road, and a new through lane on 166 in each direction.

The project also includes drainage work, signage and a retaining wall along the west (southbound) side of 166 next to the Dover Mall redevelopment.

The project began in March 2016, and was suspended this past July in the aftermath of the Transportation Trust Fund crisis.

So, remember the extra 32 cents we began paying for gasoline? You might not be fond of that, but without it, we'd be stuck with a project half-done at one of the busiest intersections in Toms River.

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