A new traffic pattern begins today on the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges to facilitate a new phase of $350 million construction project, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) announced.
Schiavone Construction Co., the bridge contractor, will shift traffic to a single lane pattern in each direction immediately to the west and east of the thoroughfare, allowing for the demolition and reconstruction of the bridge’s north-side, according to a DOT news release.
The pattern will continue until next spring.
The construction activity also requires the closure of the north sidewalk on the two thoroughfare bridges. According to the release, a temporary bus shuttle service will accommodate pedestrians.
Construction work on the 3-mile long causeway, which links Stafford on the mainland with Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island, began in 2013 and will continue through 2020. According to the state, the 53-year-old span is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.
“When construction of the new span is completed in 2016, the existing Bay Bridge, which is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete, will be closed to traffic for rehabilitation. Upon completion of the rehabilitation work, it will serve as the bridge for westbound traffic,” said DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro in a release.
“The new bridge will be 2,400 feet long with a vertical clearance of 55 feet over Manahawkin Bay. Ultimately, it will function as the bridge for eastbound traffic once the project is completed,” he added. “This sequence was designed to preserve the current two travel lanes in each direction during busy summer seasons from mid-May to mid-September during daytime hours and weekends. The contractor is allowed single-lane closures overnight and during the off-season, but one lane will always be maintained in each direction.”
The DOT urges motorists to check the state’s traffic information service here for construction updates and real-time travel information.