The tourists will go home Monday and the work crews will return Tuesday.
The state Department of Transportation said in a letter to residents and business owners along the state highway that work to rebuild the roadway along Ocean County’s northern barrier island is on track to start up again Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day.
The project had been suspended during the summer, though utility work continued, causing frequent traffic delays along the highway.
“Please be prepared for work to resume along the 12.5 miles beginning on Tuesday, September 2, 2014,” the letter said, urging homeowners to remove objects that might be encroaching on the state’s 10 foot-long right-of-way off the pavement.
When construction resumes, crews will essentially pick up where they left off in the midpoint of the island. For the purposes of the project, the work was divided into three separate contracts. Brick Township’s portion of the roadway was joined with Toms River’s North Beach section and the entire borough of Lavallette in a single contract. In Brick, reconstruction work will be performed in quarter-mile segments with alternating traffic patterns within the work zones, officials have said. Work in Mantoloking, which is covered under a separate contract, will also resume Sept. 2 and last into 2015, the DOT said.
In making the announcement to residents on the Sept. 2 start date, the DOT also warned property owners to remove items from the state’s right-of-way.
“Over time, property owners may have inadvertently encroached on [the] state right-of-way abutting their property, contrary to state statute,” the letter said. “While it is possible that in some cases the contractor will not need to disturb encroachments such as landscaping, pavers, sprinkler systems, fencing, decorative walls, parked cars, merchandise, etc., the Department cannot make any predictions on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, the safest course of action for property owners is to remove any materials that are encroaching on state property if they wish to protect and reuse them on their property.”
Where possible, the projects will include the installation of sidewalks alongside the roadway, to be built within the right-of-way. In Brick, sidewalks have been confirmed to be part of the project on the northbound roadway, but not the southbound. Officials from Brick and neighboring communities – especially Lavallette – have pushed for sidewalks to be installed on both sides of the highway.