Thursday, August 5, 2010

Route 52 Causeway & Bridge Construction UPDATE - August 2010



When planning your Jersey shore vacation at the Scarborough Inn Bed & Breakfast in Ocean City, New Jersey, you may be interested in an update on the Route 52 Causeway/ Bridge Construction Project. NJ DOT recently provided our island community with an update on this massive, ongoing project - said to be the largest in the state!

First, a little history about the current structure. The Route 52 Causeway between Somers Point and Ocean City was constructed in 1933 and has become increasingly inadequate for modern vehicular traffic.

Improvements are intended to "...balance transportation needs, the environment, community concerns and costs." ($400 million)

The project will extend 2.8 miles from Somers Point (the existing traffic circle will be replaced by a signalized intersection) along Route 52 (MacArthur Boulevard) over Great Egg Harbor Bay and into Ocean City to 9th. Street and West Avenue.

Right now a forest of enormous cranes, girders, and beams looms over the construction site like a giant erector set. But an amazing amount of progress has been made and New Jersey DOT and the construction companies have worked closely with the neighboring communities to accommodate vehicular traffic to and from the island - especially from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Contract A is completed (the causeway portion) and Contract B was awarded in June, 2009 with completion of the entire project slated for December, 2012. In addition to the construction of two high fixed bridges (replacing two drawbridges), there will be a new Ocean City Visitor's Center, Scenic Overlook, Fishing Piers, Boat Ramps, Parking, Pedestrian & Bike Lanes, and improvements to the Somers Point Historic District. Decorative columns from the existing structure are to be saved and incorporated into the new streetscape.

Gus served as a representative from Ocean City to the Planning Committee for 5 years before ground was ever broken for this construction project. He was impressed with the responsiveness and attention to detail of state employees and professionals. As of this date, traffic delays due to construction have been minimized and progress is impressive. When complete, the Bridge & Causeway will be visually pleasing, much more functional, and much safer, too. (See Gus in his hard hat in the picture above.)

To see renderings of the new visitor's center and other parts of the project, visit the New Jersey DOT (Department of Transportation) website.

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