Route 71 traffic to be shifted onto newly completed portion of the road this weekend
Traffic shift will maintain one lane of traffic in each direction
(Trenton) - New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced Route 71/South Main Street will be shifted this weekend onto the newly constructed southbound lanes between Asbury Avenue and Deal Lake Road as the pavement reconstruction project advances in Monmouth County.
Beginning at 9 p.m. tonight, Friday, March 22, until 7 a.m. the next day, NJDOT’s contractor, New Prince Concrete, is scheduled to restripe Route 71 southbound between Asbury Avenue and Deal Lake Road creating a two-way traffic pattern. Once the new pattern is in place, barriers will be repositioned to shift traffic onto the newly constructed southbound side of the road. Route 71 northbound lanes will be closed for approximately two months for reconstruction. One lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction on the southbound side.
No parking on either side of the road will be permitted during the overnight traffic shift. Once completed, parking will be available on the southbound roadway. Pedestrian traffic will be permitted with some periods of limited access.
During this phase of construction, eight existing traffic signals will be upgraded including new poles, signal heads, ADA pedestrian crossing push buttons and countdown walk displays.
The Route 71 pavement resurfacing and safety improvements project, which started construction in March 2018 and stopped for the busy summer season, resumed this past fall with construction expanding to include Asbury Park.
The project will improve safety and operational performance on the roadway along a two-mile stretch between Cedar Avenue in Allenhurst and the Main Avenue/Bond Street intersection in Asbury Park. Project improvements include the resurfacing of Route 71/Main Street, upgrading 29 intersections with ADA compliant ramps, and several pedestrian upgrades including curb and sidewalk replacement. Additional improvements will include bike lanes, 17 new traffic signals, replacing of steel utility poles with standard wooden poles, landscape restoration, utility relocation, and improved lighting to enhance the safety of the road for the thousands of motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists using the road each day.
The project has been designed in phases with no work taking place between May 15 and September 15 during the busy summer season. Motorists should expect temporary detours and lane closures, and are advised to allow additional travel time and exercise caution while driving through the project limits. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2020.
As part of the safety and operational improvements, a “road diet” will be implemented in Asbury Park. The new striping plan will reduce the number of travel lanes to one in each direction with a center turn-lane. Currently, Route 71/Main Street does not include dedicated left-turn lanes, which can lead to congestion, difficulty in making left turns, and a greater risk for crashes.
The presence of the new center turn-lane frees up traffic to operate more efficiently, and serves as a traffic calming measure to reduce speeds through a busy and vibrant business district with heavy pedestrian traffic. NJDOT has performed similar adjustments to a stretch of Route 45 in Woodbury and along Route 9 in Lakewood to help improve traffic flow and safety.
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 or on the NJDOT Facebook page.