The state Department of Transportation announced plans to shift Route 72 traffic four times during a three-week span beginning this week. The traffic pattern change is part of the Route 72 culvert replacement and roadway improvement project between the Garden State Parkway and the Stafford Square shopping center.
Beginning at 9 p.m. on Monday, March 4, until 6 a.m. March 5, state contractor Earle Asphalt Co., will close one lane of Route 72, both eastbound and westbound, to implement a traffic shift. Route 72 westbound traffic will be shifted to the left, onto a temporary lane, between the Parkway and Martin Truex Jr. Boulevard. The shift will create a construction zone on the right side of the road to continue culvert replacement work. Two westbound lanes of traffic will be maintained during this stage, state transportation officials said.
This configuration will be in place for approximately one week, according to DOT officials. As work progresses, a second shift will move the westbound traffic back to the right, creating a center work zone. The second configuration will be in place for approximately five days, and two westbound lanes of traffic will continue to be maintained.
Once the Route 72 westbound culvert work is completed, construction will begin on the eastbound side of Route 72. At that time, the eastbound travel lanes will be shifted to the left. After approximately five days, or upon completion of work on that portion of the road, the eastbound traffic will be shifted to the right.
Contractors will be working 24 hours a day daily, weather permitting, until the culvert construction is completed, according to DOT officials.
The $8.6 million federally funded Route 72-East Road project will provide highway and signal intersection improvements to address congestion and safety concerns. Improvements are scheduled to include the addition of a 10-foot shoulder in each direction between the Parkway and Stafford Square shopping center, median widening and new barrier curbs. The project also includes new traffic signals and roadway improvements at two Route 72 intersections – Roosevelt Boulevard and Doc Cramer Boulevard.
There will be a new culvert and a revised jughandle circling a water basin from Route 72 westbound to a relocated East Road, which is being relocated about 200 feet from its current location. Two new stormwater basins will be constructed farther down on Route 72 westbound, and West Road will be relocated east from its current location between McDonald’s and Mr. Tire to a new location between Element Restaurant and Starboard Plaza. Washington Road, located parallel to Route 72, will end at the new West Road.
Construction is expected to be completed later this year. 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.