STAFFORD – Improvements to Route 72 and the East Road intersection continue to make headway and you might have noticed some major changes underway in the area. Lots of trees have been cleared behind the jughandle on Route 72 westbound, preparing the space for new drainage pipes, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT).
Since the project began in September, the NJDOT has completed drainage work in the areas of the Garden State Parkway and the Stafford Square Shopping Center, stated Judith Drucker of NJDOT.
“Trees were cleared on Route 72 westbound in preparation for the installation of new drainage pipes and inlets along the north side curb,” stated Drucker. “That will include a new culvert that will cross Route 72 to replace existing drainage.”
Motorists and locals can expect more traffic shifts during December onto the temporary median, to allow space for construction. Drucker noted that the lane shifts will still allow two lanes open during construction.
The improvement project is an $8.6 million federally-funded project that began on September 7, 2018 with intersection and roadway improvements in both directions for approximately one mile on Route 72.
Since that date, NJDOT’s contractor, Earle Asphalt Co., has completed preliminary construction work near the Garden State Parkway and the Stafford Square Shopping Center “with the majority of construction starting later this fall…Construction is expected to be completed in late 2019,” according to NJDOT.
The work being performed currently on the Route 72 jughandle has to do with drainage.
“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),” stated a release from NJDOT dated Sept. 7.
The project will also incorporate:
• Two new storm water basins on Route 72 westbound
• Relocation of West Road from its location between McDonald’s and Mr. Tire to a new location between Element Restaurant and Starboard Plaza.
• 10-foot shoulders in each direction on Route 72 between the Garden State Parkway and the Stafford Square Shopping Center
• Median widening
• New barrier curbs
• New traffic signals and roadway improvements at Roosevelt Boulevard and Doc Cramer Boulevard intersections
According to NJDOT, the project is intended to address and improve certain areas along Route 72 to decrease congestion and improve motorist safety.