Mathis Bridge/Route 37 eastbound reopened yesterday ahead of schedule
Both the Mathis Bridge and the Tunney Bridge are opened for the summer season
(Trenton) -New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced all lanes of traffic on the Mathis Bridge/Route 37 eastbound were reopened last night ahead of schedule, essentially completing the project in Ocean County. All three lanes are open in time for Memorial Day and the start of the summer vacation season.
At approximately 11 p.m. last night, May 3, NJDOT’s contractor Schiavone Construction Company, reopened all three lanes on the Mathis Bridge/Route 37 eastbound. Both the Mathis Bridge and the Tunney Bridge are fully opened before the start of the summer season. There may be occasional daily single lane closures on the Mathis Bridge between Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for final completion work. No lanes are anticipated to be closed on the weekends.
While the Mathis Bridge was closed for construction, two lanes of traffic westbound and one lane eastbound were maintained on the Tunney Bridge, separated by a moveable barrier. Before the reopening of all the lanes on the Mathis Bridge, the temporary crossover from Route 37 eastbound onto the Tunney Bridge had to be removed.
The eastbound Mathis Bridge and westbound Tunney Bridges are a pair of bridges carrying Route 37 over Barnegat Bay between Toms River and Seaside Heights. The Mathis Bridge, a mile-long double leaf bascule moveable span bridge completed in 1950, is the older of the two and was in need of repairs.
The $56.4 million federally-funded project replaced the existing bridge deck on the Mathis Bridge, which is 68 years old, made safety improvements to the barrier and railings, and repaired and replaced mechanical and electrical components that operate the moveable lift span. Construction was accomplished in three winter seasons so summer traffic would not be affected. During this final construction season, new warning gates and lights were installed, and new bridge approaches and the cast-in-place anchor spans were completed.
The construction cycle required a full closure of the Mathis Bridge, which was limited to November 1 to April 30 each year. During each of these construction cycles, summer traffic from approximately May 15 to September 15 was not affected with all three lanes on each bridge opened to traffic.
NJDOT created a project-specific website that contains a wealth of information about the project, and the Department carefully coordinated the project with local officials to minimize the effect to residents and businesses.
The Department also has a Project Community Outreach Team that can be reached through the project hotline telephone number, 732-230-7356, email, DOT-Route37Mathis.firstname.lastname@example.org, or project website. Anyone who has questions, concerns, or suggestions is encouraged to contact the Project Community Outreach Team as work progresses.
NJDOT will be using Variable Message Signs to provide advance notification to motorists of traffic pattern changes associated with the work. 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 www.511nj.org for real-time travel information and for NJDOT news follow us on Twitter @NJDOT_info and on our Facebook page.