NJDOT doubles capacity of Route 52 Causeway
NJDOT opens bridge to four lanes of summer traffic from Somers Point to Ocean City
(Trenton)- Commissioner Kris Kolluri today announced that the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) performed roadwork which will enable four lanes of traffic to travel on the Route 52 Causeway. The bridge, which connects Ocean City and Somers Point, previously carried only one lane of traffic in each direction as a result of safety concerns related to the bridge’s railings.
“Tourism is the driving force behind the local economy, and NJDOT’s bridge rehabilitation project will enable Ocean City to support additional business this summer,” said Governor Jon Corzine. “The Route 52 capacity expansion reflects the success of NJDOT’s partnership with local and state officials, local residents and business owners.”
The Route 52 Causeway will remain open to four lanes of traffic through Labor Day. NJDOT provided two lanes in each direction by repainting and reconfiguring the lane dividers, rehabilitating guide rails and bolting temporary barrier curbs to support the sides of the bridge. The causeway now consists of two ten-foot center lanes and two nine-foot outer lanes. NJDOT also provided a rumble strip in the center of the bridge to separate the two directions of travel. The $1 million repair project was completed before the Memorial Day holiday weekend in order to support summer tourism in Ocean City.
"Opening the Route 52 Causeway to four lanes of traffic will promote tourism by improving traffic flow and enabling visitors and summer residents to more easily reach their destinations," said Commissioner Kolluri. "NJDOT's improvements will provide a safe, efficient means of reaching Ocean City as the project to replace the existing bridge advances."
In order to ensure safety, non-construction vehicles weighing over 4 tons will be prohibited from traversing the bridge and construction vehicles and NJ TRANSIT buses will be prohibited from traveling in the outer lanes of the bridge. The current speed limit of 35 miles per hour will remain in effect.
NJDOT will replace the existing Route 52 Causeway with a new, 55-foot clearance fixed bridge and eliminate the Somers Point Circle. NJDOT will accept bids for the project on June 1, 2006 and hopes to begin construction in late summer 2006. The new northbound section of Route 52 is scheduled for completion prior to Memorial Day 2008. At that time, traffic will be shifted from the existing causeway, which will be demolished so that the new southbound roadway can be constructed. The entire project is scheduled for substantial completion by the fall of 2009.
NJDOT recently completed several traffic improvement projects in the vicinity of the Route 52 Causeway on Ocean Drive, Route 9 and Roosevelt Boulevard. At the request of local officials, NJDOT added a left turn center lane between two signalized intersections located on Route 9 at Tuckahoe Road and Roosevelt Boulevard. In addition, NJDOT increased intersection capacity by adding an eastbound through lane on Route 9 for Roosevelt Boulevard and improved traffic flow by modifying traffic signal timing. NJDOT will complete pedestrian safety upgrades and handicap ramps on Route 9 next week.
In order to further improve safety and through traffic flow, NJDOT also added an exclusive left-turn lane on Ocean Drive northbound for vehicles approaching Route 152 westbound.
In addition, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority lengthened the deceleration lane from Garden State Parkway (GSP) interchange 25 onto Roosevelt Boulevard and widened the approach to the Roosevelt Boulevard traffic signal to increase capacity of shore bound traffic.