NJDOT to widen Route 72 westbound outside shoulders in Barnegat and Stafford
Evacuation route from LBI to be enhanced
(Trenton) - Construction has begun on a project to widen the outside shoulder along Route 72 westbound in Barnegat and Stafford townships in Ocean County, NJDOT officials announced today.
NJDOT’s contractor, Joseph Defino Trucking Co., Inc., began preliminary construction activities last week to establish a work zone along the outside shoulder on Route 72 westbound.
The $2.2 million project will widen the current, intermittent roadway shoulder along Route 72 to provide a continuous 10-foot-wide shoulder between Nautilus Drive (milepost 13.7) in Stafford and County Route 539 (milepost 21.1) in Barnegat. Currently, there are portions of the existing shoulder that are less than standard width.
A continuous 10 foot wide shoulder will enhance the ability of emergency personnel to safely and efficiently evacuate Long Beach Island (LBI) communities in the event of an emergency. Route 72 is a designated evacuation route and the only way on and off LBI.
Additionally, NJDOT will make intersection improvements at three locations within the project limits:
• Route 72/Ivy Road – The Route 72 westbound right turn auxiliary lane to Ivy Road will be lengthened to approximately 600 feet.
• Route 72/CR 539 – The Route 72 westbound right turn lane to Route 539 will be lengthened to approximately 600 feet.
• Route 72/ W. Bay Avenue (CR 554) – The intersection will be realigned and the Barnegat Road westbound slip ramp to Route 72 westbound will be eliminated. All traffic on Barnegat Road westbound will be directed to the T-intersection at Route 72.
The majority of construction will be focused within the existing roadway shoulder and should have little impact to the motoring public. Traffic shifts may be necessary, but one travel lane will be maintained on Route 72 westbound at all times.
This project is being coordinated with the ongoing construction on the Garden State Parkway bridges over Route 72 in Stafford.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website for construction updates and real-time travel information.