The Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges temporary bus shuttle is currently active and will continue to operate until the sidewalks on the old Causeway Bridge and the Hilliards Thorofare Bridge open, according to state Department of Transportation officials. The shuttle is expected to remain operational through 2018.
“The schedules have been placed inside mailboxes installed along the drop-off and pick-up locations on the route,” Dan Triana, DOT public information officer, said recently.
To accommodate people wishing to go to Bonnet Island, the free shuttle bus runs from Marsha Drive with a stop in the eastbound direction at Third Street on Bonnet Island, according to the DOT. The shuttle bus will then return in the westbound direction, stopping at the Public Access Parking Lot on Bay Avenue on Bonnet Island and Marsha Drive on the mainland. This is a temporary service, which operates seven days a week while the sidewalk and bay bridge are closed. The schedule may be adjusted in the future depending on the number of riders.
The shuttle, which does allow for bicycles, runs every hour from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Work on the $350 million Route 72/Manahawkin Bay Bridge project was started in 2013 and is expected to continue through 2021. The 3-mile-long Causeway links Stafford Township on the mainland with Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island.
As part of the project, a new bridge has been constructed parallel to the existing one over Manahawkin Bay, providing the safety of a redundant route on or off the Island. The new bridge is 2,400 feet long with a vertical clearance of 55 feet over Manahawkin Bay. It currently has two lanes in each direction while the original Causeway Bridge is being rehabilitated. Ultimately, it will function as the bridge for eastbound traffic once the project is completed, with the rehabilitated original bridge carrying westbound traffic.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check the DOT’s traffic information website 511nj.org for construction updates and real-time travel information; for DOT news, follow on Twitter @NJDOT_info. —G.G.S.
Reposted from The Sandpaper