The closure of the Thomas A. Mathis Bridge, the causeway that connects Toms River with the Barnegat Bay Island, is set to begin tomorrow, officials announced.
The project contractor, Schiavone Construction Company, is scheduled to close Route 37 eastbound at the intersection of Douglas Street in Toms River, located just prior to the Mathis Bridge, at 7 a.m. in order to shift one lane of eastbound traffic onto Route 37 westbound to utilize the J. Stanley Tunney Bridge, according to New Jersey Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Schapiro.
Traffic will be shift back onto Route 37 eastbound after crossing the Tunney Bridge near Sunset Drive on Pelican Island, Schapiro said in a release, adding that the jughandle to turn onto Douglas Street in Toms River will remain open.
Officials expect the shift to conclude by tomorrow evening.
In addition, the Mathis Bridge will be closed to marine traffic between Dec. 1 and March 15, 2017.
The overall project calls for deck replacement, safety improvements, and mechanical and electrical work on the span, which was built in 1950. The bridge is older than the adjacent westbound Tunney Bridge.
This upcoming construction cycle will allow the contractor to rehabilitate the bridge operator’s house, install the new “candy cane” style warning gates, conduct minor electrical work and continue with bridge work from the center bascule to the west.
Construction will occur between Nov. 1 and April 30 through 2018. All three lanes on each bridge will be open to traffic between May 15 and Sept. 15.
The state anticipates that the project will cost approximately $74 million, with funding from the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) under the auspices of the National Highway Performance Program.