How to avoid the heaviest traffic heading to Saturday’s Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights

     Mel Evans/Associated Press

    Mel Evans/Associated Press

    If you’re one of the brave souls hopping into the frigid Atlantic Ocean in Seaside Heights during the Polar Bear Plunge benefiting Special Olympics New Jersey this Saturday, find an alternate route to the festivities.

    Officials say motorists traveling on Route 37 across the Tunney Bridge should expect congestion and delays as thousands from around the region are expected to pour into the borough. 

    That’s because only one eastbound lane into Seaside Heights is open until construction on the Mathis Bridge ceases for the summer season in May.

    Crews are currently replacing the bridge’s 65-year-old deck and improving mechanical and electrical components, which is expected to finish by the summer of 2018.

    In addition to the one eastbound lane, the Tunney Bridge is carrying two westbound lanes.

    Motorists attempting to access the Seaside area via Route 37 during last Sunday’s unseasonably warm temperatures experienced heavy delays. 

    Ocean temperatures at the Jersey Shore are currently above normal in the lower 40s. The plunge begins at 1 p.m.

    Here are alternate routes to Seaside Heights:

    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 seven traffic 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.

    From Toms River via Hooper Avenue:

    Take Hooper Avenue North.Turn right onto Drum Point Road and continue for 1.2 miles.Turn left onto Adamston Road and continue for about 1 mile.Turn right onto Mantoloking Road/CR 528 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 Manchester via Route 70:

    Take Route 70 toward Brick Township.Turn right onto Cedar Bridge Avenue, which will become Mantoloking Road (CR 528).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.

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