This summer the state will start major reconstruction of a 12.5-mile stretch of Route 35 -- from Point Pleasant Beach to the entrance of Island Beach State Park -- to rebuild the state road seriously damaged by Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Chris Christie said today.
The $215 million project, scheduled to start in late June, will be funded with federal transportation money and expedites reconstruction plans for that road because of storm damage, he said.
In addition to resurfacing, the work includes replacing all underground pipes for utilities, stormwater and sewer, said state Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson.
The concrete portion of the road will be replaced by a thick stone base topped with asphalt to make it stronger and more resilient, he said.
"That's part of what we're trying to do in the aftermath of this tragedy, is not to just build back to where we were but to build back better, and to use the federal funds that we're getting from the Congress to make sure that we make our infrastructure better here in this state to sustain future attacks by storms if they come," Christie said. "And this new roadway will be better and more durable in every way."
The project will be divided into three phases, with the first starting in the stretch from Point Pleasant Beach to Mantoloking. Bids will go out later this fall for the other two sections -- the central and southern portions of the peninsula. All the work should be finished before summer 2015.
Six years of work will be compressed into 2 1/2 years by having construction continue through the summer.
Simpson said crews usually try to avoid projects that disrupt traffic at the Jersey Shore during summer, but officials decided to work through this summer because so much hurricane recovery work will still be under way on the barrier island.
"This summer will be characterized -- it's a little bit different this year -- by a mixture of vacationers as well as construction activity to homeowners, businesses and the DOT with its full reconstruction," Simpson said.
"This project is important as a symbol for the region and for all those who still face the uphill challenge of rebuilding," Christie said befrore a crowd at the borough fire department.
Too bad we couldn't get George Gilmore to tell Christie we need Route Nine widened in order to let people pass through Lakewood safely. I guess Vob Singer doesn't care enough to speak up to those that hold the purse strings for the good of the region he represents.
Sheesh. They could solve our problem with a tenth of the amount they are spending on a road that is travelled much less than Route Nine.
Thanks again Bob and company.