Construction begins on new Route 52 causeway bridge
Governor Jon S. Corzine joined New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Kris Kolluri and other state and local officials in October to break ground on a new $400 million Route 52 causeway bridge between Ocean City and Somers Point.
Route 52 causeway bridge
The new bridge is expected to improve traffic flow and provide a reliable artery for access to the shore region and its attractions. Repair work on the 72-year old bridge frequently leads to lane closures.
According to Kolluri, this is one of the largest bridge projects NJDOT has ever undertaken. It features innovative construction techniques designed to save taxpayers dollars while providing a safe and reliable bridge for decades to come. By increasing the design efficiencies, NJDOT shaved $90 million off the total cost of the project.
The first $183 million phase of the project includes the replacement of 1.2 miles of the interior portion of the causeway, from Elbow Island to Garrett's Island. By Memorial Day 2008, NJDOT will build a new northbound bridge east of the existing causeway. Traffic will then be shifted off the old causeway, which will be demolished to make way for the new southbound roadway to be completed by Fall 2009.
The new bridge will feature 12-foot travel lanes and 8-foot shoulders; opposing travel lanes will be separated by a concrete median barrier. The project includes a new Visitor's Center, sidewalks for pedestrians and bicyclists and fishing piers.
Included in the bridge's design is preservation of the historic areas, such as the Somers Mansion and the Bayfront Historic District. Through public outreach and the municipal governments of the two towns, NJDOT received public support for the design.