Construction work on a key Jersey Shore bridge that began in 2015 mostly wrapped up Thursday night with time to spare before Memorial Day weekend, the kick-off to the summer season, state officials announced.
All lanes of the Thomas A. Mathis Bridge, the mile-long Route 37 causeway that connects Ocean County’s Toms River with the Barnegat Bay Island, are now open after the final phase of repair and rehabilitation work, according to a New Jersey Department of Transportation news release.
The reopening of all lanes means the project is “essentially” complete, the release states.
The $56.4 million federally-funded project occurred during the offseason months. It involved deck replacement, safety improvements, and mechanical and electrical work on the span, which was built in 1950.
Crews also rehabilitated the bridge operator’s house, made structural steel repairs of the anchor and bascule spans, and upgraded the electrical and mechanical systems that operate the bridge, warning gates, and a video monitoring system.
During the work, the adjacent J. Stanley Tunney accommodated one lane of eastbound traffic, which sometimes resulted in traffic jams due to crashes, disabled cars, and heavy volume during events and unseasonably warm offseason days.
Officials say there may be occasional daily single lane closures on the span from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Monday and Thursday for final completion work.