Increase In Route 72 Bridge Work Not Likely During OffSeason

Increase In Route 72 Bridge Work Not Likely During OffSeason

As work continues on the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Project, motorists traveling eastbound over the existing Causeway Bridge may have noticed that some of the new bridge piers have become visible. The drilled shafts that will support the bridge piers were completed during the summer, Stephen Schapiro, acting director of communications at the New Jersey Department of Transportation, told The SandPaper in a recent update.

The new Intelligent Transportation System improvements, which consist of new traffic cameras and new, full-color dynamic message signs as well as readers that make up the travel time system, have also been completed. Final system testing is now ongoing, Schapiro said.

The only significant change to the project has been revising the amber DMS boards originally in the contract to full-color signs, which offer newer, state of the art technology and provide greater flexibility in use, such as supporting images as well as text, he added.

The project is currently on schedule. An increase in construction during the off-season is not expected since “we are already working with an aggressive schedule,” Schapiro said.

Construction workers will continue to build the piers and abutments and are expected to be setting new beams by the end of the year. Work now consists of completing the footings, which sit atop the shafts, as well as finishing the piers that rest upon the footings.

 Installation of an underground electrical conduit that will carry the new electrical lines from the mainland across the new bridge is also expected to begin next.

No changes to the existing traffic pattern are anticipated since most of the labor is being conducted over the water. However, periodic lane closures are possible, particularly later in the fall, said Schapiro. Instances of work that necessitate lane closures include the removal of existing poles that are no longer needed as well as installation of a guide rail and of the underground electrical conduit.

“Our experience shows that, during the off-season, we can close lanes in this area without negatively impacting traffic,” Schapiro said. “Although no changes to the existing traffic pattern are forthcoming, everyone needs to remain cognizant of the fact that this is an active construction zone. Slow down, take care, and be aware of your surroundings,” he added.

Courtesy of— Kelley Anne Essinger
Photo Courtesy of Jack Reynolds
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