Route 72 bridge decks to be replaced
over Route 9 in Stafford Township
Staged construction will keep the highway open to motorists
while bridge decks are replaced
(Trenton) - NJDOT officials today announced a project to replace the Route 72 bridge decks in both directions over all lanes of Route 9 in Stafford, Ocean County. The two structurally-deficient bridge decks, located around milepost 23.2, have deteriorated over time and are in need of repair.
NJDOT’s contractor, Lucas Construction Group, began preliminary construction activity around the work zone last week including sign installation, site mobilization and other preparatory items. The initial phases of work - as the contractor constructs temporary, paved crossover lanes in the median of the highway - will not require any impacts to mainline Route 72.
The $3.5 million, federally-funded project is needed to replace the existing structurally-deficient bridge decks that carry Route 72 over Route 9. The existing 8-inch thick deck slabs will be replaced with 9-inch thick cast-in-place concrete slabs, resulting in a slight raise in the roadway profile. New bridge approach slabs, which do not exist today, will be added at all four approaches. The construction contract also includes sandblasting and painting of the bridge superstructures.
NJDOT has designed the bridge deck replacement work to be performed in stages, with at least one travel lane maintained on Route 72 in each direction at all times. The deck replacement work will take place in the off-season to limit the impacts on Route 72, the only shore/evacuation route to-and-from Long Beach Island. All four travel lanes will be maintained on Route 72 during the important summer season between April 15 and September 15.
The temporary crossovers are being built in the median to enable the diversion of live traffic off of each bridge as they get reconstructed. Diverting traffic across the median will allow NJDOT to accelerate the construction and complete each deck within a shorter time-frame. Details on the bridge deck replacement schedule are as follows;
• Beginning this fall (2013) the Route 72 eastbound bridge will be closed with one eastbound lane shifted over the median onto the westbound bridge
• Route 72 westbound will be configured to carry two westbound lanes and one eastbound travel lane, with opposing traffic separated by barrier curb
• After the eastbound deck is complete, the traffic crossover will be reversed and the westbound bridge will be closed while the new deck is constructed.
• During this stage Route 72 eastbound will carry two eastbound lanes and one westbound travel lane, with opposing traffic separated by barrier curb
• Each stage of construction will require the closure of select on/off ramps at the interchange.
o Motorists will be detoured via the existing ramps through the interchange
o A temporary traffic signal will be installed to help handle traffic from Route 9 onto Route 72 eastbound
NJDOT will utilize multiple dynamic message signs on Route 72 to alert motorists to all upcoming traffic impacts. Traffic management for this project is being closely coordinated with the ongoing work on the Manahawkin Bay Bridges project, about three miles to the east heading into Ship Bottom.
A public information center was held in April to provide interested residents with the opportunity to review exhibits of the project, ask questions and discuss issues with representatives. NJDOT anticipates the project reaching completion in late-spring 2014.
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.