Single-Lane Traffic on Route 72 Bridge Thorofares to Remain Until Spring
Starting Monday, Oct. 10, the East and West Thorofare bridges on the Route 72 Causeway Bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction. The single-lane pattern will start just west of the West Thorofare Bridge and end just east of the East Thorofare Bridge on Long Beach Island.
This new traffic pattern will remain until springtime to permit the removal and replacement of the existing bridge deck joints on the south side of the bridges as well as a new bridge deck pavement overlay to enhance the riding surface for motorists, state Department of Transportation officials said.
Schiavone Construction Co. will shift traffic to the newly reconstructed north side of both thorofare bridges between 7 a.m. Monday through 5:30 a.m. the following day, DOT officials said. This new traffic pattern is expected to stay in place until mid-winter, when traffic will be shifted to the south side to enable the deck overlay to be installed on the north side.
A daily shuttle service will continue to be offered to pedestrians commuting over the newly constructed Causeway Bridge until the existing Causeway Bridge is rehabilitated and its bridge sidewalk is reopened and accessible to pedestrians by summer 2020.
Work on the $350 million Route 72/Manahawkin Bay Bridge project, which began in 2013, is anticipated to carry through 2020. The exact scheduling of the labor is dependent upon weather and other influences.
The 3-mile-long Causeway connects Stafford on the mainland with Ship Bottom on LBI. As part of the plan, a new bridge has been constructed parallel to the existing one over Manahawkin Bay, offering the security of a redundant route on or off the Island. The new bridge is 2,400 feet long with a vertical clearance of 55 feet over Manahawkin Bay. It presently has two lanes in each direction while the original Causeway Bridge is being rehabilitated. It will serve as the bridge for eastbound traffic when the project is finished.
For more information, visit 511nj.org. —K.A.E.