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route 72 manahawkin bay bridges project graphic

Proposed Improvements

The Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Project involves the construction of a new structure parallel to and south of the existing Manahawkin Bay Bridge, rehabilitation of the existing Manahawkin Bay Bridge, and the rehabilitation of three trestle bridges over Hilliards Thorofare, East Thorofare, and West Thorofare. Other planned improvements include:

  • A six-foot sidewalk on the westbound (north) side of Route 72, with connections to communities and points of interest on the south side of the roadway;

  • Bicycle accommodations, including wider outside shoulders on the twin Manahawkin Bay Bridges and six-foot bike lanes on the trestle bridges;
trestle bridges aerial photo
This aerial view is of the
existing trestle bridges over
West and East Thorofares.
  • Improvements to the intersection of Route 72 and Marsha Drive in Stafford Township to alleviate seasonal traffic delays; and

  • Intersection improvements in Ship Bottom, designed to improve traffic flow for both north/south traffic on Long Beach Island and along 8th and 9th Streets, and drainage improvements to improve access during heavy rainfalls and high tide events.

existing and proposed bridges photo
The existing Manahawkin Bay Bridge is on the left
and the proposed twin bridges are on the right.

The project has avoided environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable, however, some mitigation will still be required. A mitigation plan will be developed in coordination with regulatory agencies during the permitting phase of the project. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will also look for ways to improve public access to the waterfront, including areas for fishing and crabbing. The "String of Pearls" lighting formerly seen on the existing Manahawkin Bay Bridge at night will be replicated on the outside of both the existing and new Manahawkin Bay Bridges using current technology to improve reliability, but these lights will not be visible from the roadway. Highway lighting poles utilizing Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology will be provided to light the roadway.

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  Department of Transportation
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  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  October 9, 2015