Stafford To See Series Of Road Projects

Route 72 in Manahawkin (Photo by Jason Allentoff)

STAFFORD – If you travel Route 72 frequently or live in the Ocean Acres area of town, you might have gotten stuck in some hefty traffic near the Stafford Park shopping center just before you reach Nautilus Drive. According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, this is not the only road construction Stafford will see happening in the area.

Photo by Kimberly Bosco

“NJDOT is in the process of making improvements to the Route 72 Manahawkin-Stafford Township, Ocean County corridor. In July, 2017 NJDOT began a new Route 72 resurfacing project consisting of six miles in Stafford,” said Dan Triana, public information officer for the NJDOT. “The resurfacing is being done in two, three-mile segments on Route 72 westbound and eastbound starting from Ash Road to the Garden State Parkway, and then continuing from the Stafford Square Mall to Marsha Drive.”

The construction projects are separate from the larger Route 72 Bridge project that Micromedia Publications reported on in the March 10, 2018 edition of The Southern Ocean Times.

The construction projects are focusing on resurfacing the roads. The federally-funded project is estimated to cost $10.6 million, according to NJDOT.


Triana said that the work began with shoulder resurfacing in both directions at Ash Road, working its way down to the Garden State Parkway, and then will be ending at the hospital.

“In addition, the project is making minor repairs to the bridge deck over Mill Creek, upgrading nine signalized intersections, and installing ADA curb ramps and guiderails,” he added.

The construction will cause overnight lane closures and mainline lane closures, Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Photo by Jason Allentoff

In addition to resurfacing, the NJ DOT will also be making safety improvements at certain intersections including “upgrading pedestrian push buttons and countdown heads, and replacing 8 inch traffic signals to 12 inch LED traffic signal heads,” according to NJ DOT.

These intersections will be:

  • Ivy Road
  • Neptune Drive
  • Breakers Drive
  • Mermaid Drive
  • Nautilus Drive
  • Stafford Park Boulevard
  • Shoprite Jug handle
  • Jennings Road
  • Mill Creek Road

The NJ DOT noted that the Route 72 Ash Road to Marsha Drive resurfacing project is not expected to significantly impact traffic during the summer seasons and hopes to be completed by the spring of 2019.