Thanks to feedback from local businesses, state officials have now decided to end all roadwork along Route 35 for the summer. Concerns from business owners led to the change after the original plan called for the New Jersey Department of Transportation to continue working on the busy road along a 2.5-mile stretch between Brick and Toms River. That work is now scheduled to stop on June 13, allowing for smooth-flowing traffic during the busy summer holiday months.
The road is still being worked on after damage from Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012. The superstorm ripped up the roadway and, with federal aid, it's now a $265-million project to rebuild and repave the vital artery.
Transportation commissioner James Simpson recently met with business owners, who were concerned the ongoing constrution through the touristy summer months would negatively impact tourism and local businesses along the Jersey Shore in Ocean County. In a statement published by The Star-Ledger, Lavallette Business Association President Mark Speaker noted "there is still work to do, but with Route 35 open northbound and southbound, it will be just tremendous for the summer."
Meanwhile in the business section of Lavallette, as well as in Mantoloking and Bay Head, roadwork will come to stop on Thursday, May 22. Road construction will begin again on September 3. Officials did say roadwork will continue on side streets throughout the summer months, except in Bay Head and Mantoloking. And there will be no construction over the Memorial Day long weekend.
Beaches In Good Shape For Memorial Day
As we get closer to the second summer post-Sandy, the Jersey Shore beaches appear to be in decent shape. Erosion over the winter was at a minimum as there were no major storms from the water (but many over land), just a lot of snowfall. Combine that with massive government rehabilitation efforts and the New Jersey beaches are probably in the best shape they've been in since the summer of 2012.
The U.S. Army Corps of engineers has done a great job rebuilding beaches and Sandy Hook, Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach are all in fantastic condition. Another portion from Asbury Park down to Manasquan has just been replenished. Additionally, parts of Long Beach, including Harvey Cedars, Surf City and Brant Beach, are back to normal. And officials hope the work being done from Point Pleasant Beach to Barnegat inlet should be finished by the fall or early winter.
The beaches to the south in Atlantic and Cape May County were not as badly damaged by Sandy as their northern counterparts and they are in fantastic shape going into the summer.
Now the beaches in Bay Head and Mantoloking - which were hard-hit by Sandy - are a spot that usually suffers from natural erosion. Officials are protecting the coast with rock barriers and a steel sea wall has been proposed as well, but some residents in the area are not willing to sign easements which would allow the Army Corps in to build that steel sea wall and finish the replenishment work. The government announced a Northern New Jersey company had won the bid for the sea wall contract, which stipulates construction must be completed within 180 days.