New Jersey transportation officials have been taking advantage of the lower volumes of traffic during the pandemic to plow ahead with road work projects.

Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Schapiro said the work hours have been extended earlier and later than usual — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. instead of the usual 9 to 3.

Even with fewer cars on the roads these days, the state is still limiting construction activity in the summer months along Jersey Shore routes.

Schapiro said this is because shore activity is important for the state economy and also because the highways heading to the coast also serve as emergency evacuation routes, so being able to maximize traffic capacity is always critical in case of a weather emergency.

Work on the interchange of Routes 295, 76 and 42 in South Jersey will continue in the summer.

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Several Jersey Shore projects were recently completed or will be completed soon:

• The Route 35 Bridge over Ashley Avenue was completed and all lanes were reopened in April.
• The Route 9 Bridge over Jobs Creek in Bass River was restored to one lane in each direction last week. It had been one lane with alternating traffic.
• Earlier this month, the Route 71/Main Street reconstruction in Asbury Park completed its current stage and reopened the northbound lanes between Asbury and Monroe avenues. The project is now on a summer hiatus and work will resume in the fall.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com