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route 35 reconstruction graphic

Superstorm Sandy

Throughout the night of October 29, 2012, New Jersey residents bore witness to unprecedented storm conditions that ravaged the northeast, leaving dozens of communities virtually unrecognizable by morning. Superstorm Sandy unleashed hurricane-force wind gusts, dropped a foot or more of rain in areas and produced record storm surges along the coast. One of the hardest hit locations of New Jersey's state highway system was the devastated coastal area along Route 35 from Point Pleasant Beach to Island Beach State Park in Ocean County.

In Mantoloking, the storm surge washed entirely across the Barnegat Peninsula, from the ocean to the bay in three locations, breaching three sections of the highway. The largest of the breaches created a channel between the Atlantic Ocean and the Barnegat Bay at the intersection with Route 528. In addition to the breaches, the storm destroyed much of the highway, undermining and moving concrete slabs and destroying much of the roadway's underground drainage
Mantoloking breaches photo
This aerial view shows the multiple roadway breaches where the
Atlantic Ocean met the Barnegat Bay.
system. Underground utility lines and dozens of sinkholes formed where roadways, sidewalks and storm drain inlets collapsed. Knowing that it would require immediate attention to resume normal travel throughout Ocean County, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and contractor crews worked tirelessly to move debris and sand from the roadway and repair washed out sections of the road. Access along the highway was restored for emergency responders and contractors within days, with permanent repairs completed at the largest breach within two months.

damaged roadway photo
The damaged roadway
pavement is a result
of Sandy's impact.
sinkhole photo
A sinkhole formed along
Route 35 northbound at
Milepost 4.47 in Lavallette.

Due to the severity of the damage and the importance of the highway as a major traffic artery, following the repairs, NJDOT began an effort to accelerate the longstanding Route 35 Reconstruction Project, which had been proposed to be carried out in three separate contracts spread out over most of the coming decade. Given its importance to the region, NJDOT received federal funding to rebuild 12.5 miles of Route 35 in Ocean County. This funding is part of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Emergency Relief Program which is designed to aid the repair and reconstruction of highways that have suffered serious damage as a result of natural disasters.

progress photo
progress photo
These two views show the swift progress made on the
roadway leading from the Route 528 Mantoloking Bridge and its
intersection with Route 35 in the weeks after Superstorm Sandy.
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  Last Updated:  July 8, 2013