TOMS RIVER – There is a huge difference between what the intersection of Routes 166 and 37 looks like today and what it looked like a year ago. Some would even say it looks done.
However, there are still a few more projects to do, according to Steve Schapiro, deputy Director of Communications for the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
In terms of how traffic will flow, nothing will change from how it is now, he said. What will change is the roadway itself. Final milling and paving still needs to be done.
The DOT plans for this to happen overnight, so that the road closures won’t impact as many drivers, he said. There is also a plan to have this done before the increase of traffic that comes on Memorial Day, which had been previously discussed.
After that, there is just landscaping and clean-up that will need to be finished up, but that is not expected to affect drivers, he said.
The project was estimated to cost $11.7 million, but the total cost won’t be known until the end of the construction. According to the state, the work began in March of 2016.
Some store owners that rely on that intersection have told The Toms River Times that the construction has cut their businesses to the point of almost being non-viable, and the stress has impacted their personal lives as well. They criticized the state and the contractors for the delays – especially when there’s no work being done on nice days – and lack of communication.