Route 35 Construction Plan for Summer Announced [AUDIO]
As the Jersey Shore gets ready for another post-Sandy tourism season, officials from the New Jersey Department of Transportation have hammered out construction plans for Route 35 for the summer season.
For Memorial Day weekend, construction will be suspended in all three sections, beginning at noon on May 22 through May 27.
"They'll always have one lane in each direction; unless just periodically, they might have to stop and have alternate traffic," said Toms River mayor Thomas Kelaher.
After Memorial Day weekend, construction will resume until June 13 from mileposts 0 to 4 in Berkeley, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights and Toms River. Work will start again on Sept. 3.
From mileposts 4 to 9 in Lavallette, Toms River and Brick, work will stop at different times. Work on Route 35 northbound in the Lavallette Business District between Brown Avenue and Bond Avenue will stop at noon on May 22 and resume on Sept. 3. Work will continue along Route 35 northbound in Toms River and Brick. Work on the other portions of Route 35 northbound will stop at noon on June 13 and resume on Sept. 3. Work on Route 35 southbound will continue through the summer.
Work will also cease from mileposts 9 to 12.5 in Mantoloking and Bay Head at noon on May 22. Construction is scheduled to start again on Sept. 3.
Kelaher said the construction project fell behind schedule because of all the snow and freezing temperatures the Jersey Shore experienced during the winter.
"It's a major operation and could something else happen to screw that up? Yes," Kelaher said. "If it does, I can't say it would be (the DOT's) fault."
The project involves ripping up the roadway, rebuilding it and installing a new drainage system.
In addition, Kelaher said motorists traveling from Toms River into Pelican Island and Seaside Park will be able to bear to the right, and follow Central Avenue at least as far south as J Street.
Concerns from realtors and property owners about accessing beaches and homes on the barrier island prompted Toms River officials to request a meeting with the DOT, which occurred last week.
"It was a very informative meeting," Kelaher said. "I think the representatives from the DOT certainly indicated that they were aware of what our problems were and they certainly manifested a sympathetic ear, and a desire to want to do what they could to help."