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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ
Contact: Steve Schapiro
609-530-4280
RELEASE: April 1, 2014

 

Christie Administration highlights progress
in reconstruction of Sandy-damaged Route 35
on Barnegat Peninsula

Complete Streets proposals for bicyclists and pedestrians detailed

(Seaside Heights) – New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today visited with Seaside Heights Mayor William Akers and other local officials to assess progress in the $265 million project to rebuild a 12.5-mile segment of Route 35 on the Barnegat Peninsula that was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy.  

Officials also detailed Complete Street components of the project for pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and previously announced plans to suspend construction activities along most of Route 35 during the summer.

“The Administration understands that residents and business owners have endured great hardships as a result of Sandy and that they want nothing more than for life to return to normal,” Commissioner James Simpson said. “I am pleased to report that we have made a great deal of progress in seven months, but much work remains.”

While work has progressed on schedule in some areas, such as the Route 35/Route 37 interchange in Seaside Heights, unforeseen underground conditions and harsh winter weather challenged contractors' efforts to keep pace with a very aggressive schedule.  NJDOT expects most of the work to be completed by the summer of 2015.

The project has been divided into three sections covering mileposts 0-4, 4-9 and 9-12.5, with one construction contract awarded for each section. Major construction activities began this past September and significant progress has been made in all three sections.

Complete Streets
Bicycle Accommodations

The Department also announced that it has made great strides incorporating Complete Streets bicycle accommodations (pdf 36k) into the project design. NJDOT plans to create bike lanes on Route 35 for nearly ten miles of the 12.5-mile length of the project. In some areas where space is tight, bicyclists will share the road or be diverted to parallel roads.

The Department has met with officials from all eight municipalities to gain support for the plan that accommodates bicycles and balances the need for parking in some areas.  

Pedestrian Accommodations
The Complete Streets plan for this project includes:

  • 63,000 linear feet of new or rebuilt sidewalk, including a continuous sidewalk along the entire 12.5 miles of the northbound lanes
  • 1,200 ADA ramps
  • 200 pedestrian countdown heads to promote safe use of crosswalks
  • The addition of a Pedestrian Hybrid Signal just north of the Route 37 interchange to promote safe pedestrian access to the bay in Seaside Heights

Construction Progress
Last summer, Governor Chris Christie announced the start of the $265 million construction project to rebuild Route 35, a state highway along the New Jersey coastline that sustained heavy damage during Superstorm Sandy. The federal government will be providing 80 percent of the total project costs with Sandy emergency relief funds, with the balance paid by the state. 

In each section, the highway will be completely rebuilt. The new stone-and-asphalt roadway will be two-feet thick, providing a more stable road and smoother driving surface. A new storm-water drainage system has been designed to handle 25-year storms and will feature nine pump stations and treatment facilities to filter and purify the storm water prior to discharge into Barnegat Bay.

Contract 1, covering the portion of the project from milepost 9 to milepost 12.5 in Mantoloking and Bay Head, was awarded to Agate Construction Co., for $36 million. In this section, Route 35 consists of a single roadway offering just one travel lane in each direction with shoulders. 

By Memorial Day, when Agate will suspend all work for the summer, 2.5 lanes-miles of Route 35 are expected to be completed, including:

  • both the northbound and southbound lanes from Osborne Avenue to Lyman Street
  • the southbound lane from Downer Avenue to Curtis Point Drive in Mantoloking

Agate also has made significant progress constructing pump stations on Downer and Goetze Street, two of the four pumps stations being built in this section. To date, Agate has installed more than 25,000 linear feet of water, sewer, and drainage pipes.

The Department established a very aggressive construction schedule for the contractors, with the hope that work in this section could have reached substantial completion by this summer.  However, work in this section will need to continue in early September.

Contract 2 covers the section of the highway from milepost 4 to milepost 9, in Brick, Toms River, and Lavallette. This contract was awarded to George Harms Construction Co. for $101 million.

Route 35 southbound between Strickland Boulevard in Toms River and 6th Avenue in Brick is expected to be complete by summer 2014. To date, the contractor has installed more than 61,000 linear feet of water, sewer, and drainage pipe in this section.

Contract 3 encompasses the southernmost section of the highway between milepost 0 (at the entrance of Island Beach State Park) to milepost 4. The highway extends through Berkeley, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, and Toms River in this section. The contract was awarded to Union Paving & Construction Co., at $80.7 million. In this section, Route 35 is generally a divided highway, providing two travel lanes in each direction. 

By the time work on Route 35 is suspended for the summer on June 13, 2014, completed work is expected to include:

  • the Route 37 eastbound ramp connection to Route 35 northbound (for Seaside Heights)
  • a stretch of the Route 35 southbound expressway (running along the Barnegat Bay) between 6th Avenue in Ortley Beach (Toms River) and the Route 37 interchange in Seaside Heights
  • the installation of drainage pipes and the rebuilding three lane-miles of Route 35 northbound from Central Avenue/Dewey Drive in Seaside Heights to 6 th Avenue in Seaside Park. 

To date, Union Paving has installed more than 20,000 linear feet of water, sewer, and drainage pipe.

Public Outreach
NJDOT has a robust community outreach effort to help residents and business owners communicate their concerns to NJDOT and stay informed of construction activity. That effort includes a hotline telephone number, 732-230-7356, and an email address, restore.nj35@dot.state.nj.us.

Since July, the public outreach team has handled more than 3,000 emails and hundreds of phone calls, in addition to face-to-face conversations with residents on a daily basis. In addition, the Department created a project-specific website that provides information on construction activity. The site will be updated as work advances. 

Summer Work Suspension
On March 20, NJDOT announced the suspension of construction activities along most of Route 35 during the summer to ease congestion during the busy vacation season. Ten miles of the 12.5-mile construction zone will have the full complement of travel lanes on Route 35 available. This also ensures mobility for emergency responders during the busy summer season and maintains public safety because Route 35 serves as a primary evacuation route for the peninsula.

 
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  April 2, 2014