Temporary lane closures on the Causeway begin next week and will continue for the rest of the month so state Department of Transportation contractors can stabilize slopes near the West Thorofare Bridge. The proposed lane closures were anticipated to have begun this week.
Beginning at 7 a.m. Monday, June 4, Schiavone Construction will close a single lane on eastbound Route 72 to install steel sheeting to steady the slopes around the west abutment between Cedar Bonnet Island and Bonnet Island, according to Dan Triana, public information officer for the DOT.
“Working hours will be from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday,” he said. “During these days, the lane closure will remain in place 24 hours a day. All lanes will be open in both directions by 9 p.m. Thursday night for weekend traffic.”
Triana said the construction is expected to last four days. When completed, a single lane will be closed westbound from Monday, June 11 through Thursday, June 14 and again from Monday, June 18 through Thursday, June 21, he said.
“The work requires the driving of steel sheet piles, which is extremely loud,” he said, adding that as part of the DOT’s commitment to communities, the state agency worked closely with local officials to set a schedule that permits the project to continue in the shortest amount of time. “And in a way to minimize the impact to traffic and to residents.”
What has not been decided yet is whether lane closures will continue through the summer as part of a second request for daytime closures to allow for a better finished product for the pouring of concrete. That request proposes closing lanes every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. until noon. It would be expected to last through June, July, and August.
Work on the project began in 2013 and is expected to continue through 2021. The 3-mile-long causeway links Stafford 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, the new bridge 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, and for DOT news on Twitter @NJDOT_info.
— Gina G. Scala