Westbound Traffic to Be Shifted to New Causeway Bridge This Week

May 02, 2016
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Westbound traffic on the existing Route 72 Causeway Bridge will be shifted to the new bridge later this week, according to Kevin Israel, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation. One lane will be opened initially, and the second lane will open the following week.

Eastbound traffic was shifted to one lane on the new bridge on April 22. The second lane was opened this past weekend, though lane closures have been ongoing.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic on the bridge to and from Long Beach Island has been an issue due to the shift.

“While we can’t say for certain the exact cause of current traffic delays, rubbernecking is often a problem in situations like this when drivers slow to look at the ongoing work,” said Israel.

“My understanding,” Stafford Township Police Capt. Thomas Dellane said, “is that most of the tie-ups are due to preparations to shift traffic patterns to the new causeway bridge and to prepare to open two travel lanes in each direction, in anticipation of the higher summer traffic volumes.”

Two lanes of traffic in both directions on the new bridge are expected to be in place by Memorial Day. This shift will permit work to be done on the existing bridge, which will be closed to traffic. Upon completion of the rehabilitation work, that bridge will accommodate westbound traffic. The new bridge will ultimately function as the bridge for eastbound traffic when the project is finished.

The DOT plans to maintain two travel lanes in each direction during busy summer season, from mid-May to mid-September, throughout 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.

— Kelley Anne Essinger

kelleyanne@thesandpaper.net

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