MANAHAWKIN – You could call it the never ending road project. That’s what it seems like to residents and visitors alike to the southern Ocean County area. Now, as construction continues on Route 72 in Stafford Township, the New Jersey Department of Transportation is announcing an additional closure starting Monday, March 9 for a whole week.
According to the NJDOT, Martin Truex Jr. Boulevard will be closed from 6 a.m. on March 9th to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 13th as the Route 72 East Road project advances.
Officials said that Earl Asphalt Company, who is doing the actual construction, will shut down all lanes on Martin Truex Jr. Boulevard near Chase Bank for drainage work and road reconstruction. Access to the Stafford Square Shopping Center will maintained up to the AtlantiCare Urgent Care Center or through Doc Cramer Boulevard.
For drivers traveling on Martin Truex Jr. Boulevard to Route 72, a signed detour will be in place via McKinley Avenue and Doc Cramer Boulevard.
In a prepared press release, officials said the $11.6 million federally-funded Route 72 East Road project will provide highway and signal intersection improvements to address congestion and safety concerns.
Improvements are scheduled to include the addition of a 10-foot shoulder in each direction on Route 72 between the Garden State Parkway and the Stafford Square Shopping Center, median widening, new barrier curbs, plus new traffic signals and roadway improvements at two Route 72 intersections – Roosevelt Boulevard and Doc Cramer Boulevard.
There will be a new culvert and a revised jug handle circling a water basin from Route 72 westbound to a relocated East Road (East Road is being moved approximately 200 feet east from its current location), two new storm water basins will be constructed further down on Route 72 westbound, and West Road will be relocated east from its current location between McDonalds and Mr. Tire to a new location between Element Restaurant and Starboard Plaza. Washington Road, located parallel to Route 72 will end at the new West Road.
Construction is expected to be completed in late 2020 although the precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors.