TOMS RIVER – Several new traffic patterns will be enforced while construction takes place this weekend, according to a press release from the State Department of Transportation.
The ramp from Route 37 westbound to Route 166 southbound is scheduled to be opened on April 28.
Curb and signal work will be done on the northbound side of Route 166. Both north and south traffic will be on the southbound side of the road.
In order to finish detours before summer, the contractor, New Prince Concrete, will be closing the ramp from Route 166 northbound to Route 37 eastbound this weekend to reconstruct it. Drivers will be able to just make a right at the light.
The ramp from Route 37 eastbound to Route 166 northbound will also be closed for reconstruction this weekend.
Drivers heading east on Route 37 taking the jughandle to Route 166 northbound will be detoured. They will be sent instead south onto the Garden State Parkway, where they can take Exit 80, and then head right onto Lakehurst Road. They would then drive toward downtown Toms River, and turn left on Highland Parkway toward Route 166.
Construction on both ramps is supposed to be done by Memorial Day.
Local politicians and business owners have expressed frustration with the length of the project. Having begun in 2016, it fell victim to the Transportation Trust Fund shutdown. New predictions state it will be done at the end of 2018.
The entire project is estimated to cost $11.7 million, funded by the state. At the end of the project, there will be a raised median barrier, signal improvements between Highland Parkway and Old Freehold Road, a widened roadway with a through lane on Route 166. Other improvements include drainage, a retaining wall adjacent to the Dover Mall, and additional sign structures. The project, which began in March 2016, was suspended for several months in 2017 due to the TTF shutdown, and is expected to be completed at the end of this year.