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Posted on: February 22, 2021

Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Contract 1A & 1B

Announcement from NJDOT for the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges:
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), committed to developing transportation improvements that best balance transportation needs, the environment, community concerns and costs, will hold a Virtual Public Information Center (PIC) to provide local residents and businesses with information on the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Contract 1A & 1B. You are encouraged to actively participate by providing comments by mail or e-mail.  
Due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the Public Information Center will be held virtually.  Please visit the following website any time between February 22nd and March 8th to learn more about the project and leave comments: https://route72contract1a-1b.com/ 
You will have an opportunity to review a presentation, exhibits of the relevant items, submit questions, and leave feedback. Property owners with rental units are advised that tenants are also invited and encouraged to participate.  
BACKGROUND:  The NJDOT’s overall purpose of the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Project is to keep the Route 72 bridges and approach roadways in good condition so they can provide continuous, effective vehicular access to the Long Beach Island (LBI) communities, make operational and safety improvements, and maintain a suitable coastal evacuation egress. The Route 72 Causeway is the only access linking the mainland to LBI which is a prime seasonal recreation destination and year-round residential area.  The Causeway is over two miles in length and includes five existing bridges. The project was divided into six separate construction contracts. The last contract to be constructed is Contract 1A & 1B and includes operational improvements at Marsha Drive in Stafford Township; and drainage and operational roadway and intersection improvements in Ship Bottom.   
THE PROPOSED PROJECT: At Marsha Drive Intersection a third travel lane will be added to Route 72 in each direction for a limited distance to increase the traffic signal throughput capacity.  Lanes on the Marsha Drive southbound approach will be widened to provide an exclusive left turn lane and left/through/right turn lane.  Approximately 3,000 feet of Route 72 (locally known as 8th and 9th Streets) and three cross-roads (Barnegat Avenue, Central Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard) will be widened in Ship Bottom.  Two-way traffic will be restored along Central Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard.  Five traffic signals will be reconstructed.  A new traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of 8th Street and Long Beach Boulevard.  In order to reduce frequent flooding along 8th and 9th Streets and the intersections, a new storm drainage system and new outfalls will be installed. New sidewalks will be installed along all impacted Ship Bottom roadways. Ship Bottom sidewalks will be connected to a sidewalk installed along the Route 72 Causeway thus completing a continuous pedestrian connectivity from the mainland to LBI. This contract also includes pedestrian safety improvements at Circle Drive on Bonnet Island in Stafford Township. Three lanes with shoulders proposed along 8th Street will improve the emergency evacuations for the barrier island. 
TRAFFIC CONSTRUCTION IMPACTS: During weekday/weekend peak hours all lanes of traffic are maintained during the LBI summer tourist season (Mid-May through Mid-September). During off-peak season (Mid-September through Mid-May), Route 72 may be reduced to one-lane in each direction. Traffic impacts will be the reduction of two 11-foot-wide lanes in each direction, down to one undivided 13 ½ foot wide lane in each direction as needed for the use of construction equipment within the allowable lane closure schedule. 
PROJECT SCHEDULE:
Start Construction: February 2021 
Complete Construction:  December 2024 (subject to change)
For further information, please contact: Vanessa Meades NJDOT Office of Government and Community Relations PO Box 600, Trenton, NJ 08625 Phone: 609-963-1982 E-mail: Vanessa.Meades@dot.nj.gov

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