Construction on the major realignment of Garden State Park interchange 91 in Brick and the roads surrounding are expected to resume this week and last into the spring, officials said Wednesday.
Construction on the project, which will create entrances and exits to the northbound and southbound lanes of the highway – and realign many of the roads around it with the aim of helping traffic flow – has been delayed since the summer, when Gov. Chris Christie halted state-funded projects after a proposed increase to the state’s gas tax failed. Recently, the tax hike passed the legislature and was signed into law, paving the way for construction to restart.
The project, though partially funded by the state, is being led by Ocean County, since the roads surrounding the interchange are under county jurisdiction. County Engineer John Ernst said at a meeting of the Ocean County Freeholders on Wednesday that crews began canvassing the site on Monday in preparation for construction to restart.
“We met with the contractor last week and he started mobilizing on Monday,” said Ernst. “We have our inspectors back out there working with them.”
Ernst said the project was about two-thirds complete when Christie ordered the project to stop. Though construction crews will begin working this week to complete the job, asphalt plants do not operate during the colder months, so the final paving will have to wait until the spring.
“The original contract was supposed to be done in February, so now we’re looking at March, April or May,” said Ernst, adding that the contractor had – before the stoppage – forecasted that work could have been completed by mid-November. “When the project stopped, the contractor was trying to expedite the project and he was trying to get it done in the fall.”
When the project came to a stop, the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority was in the midst of removing old sewer lines and replacing them with new lines. That work also had to come to a stop and now must resume, Ernst said.
“There’s a lot of work to go that you’re not seeing because it’s under the pavement,” he said.
Ernst said he estimates the construction will be completed between March and May.
[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]More on the Project
The photo below mapping out the changes will expand when clicked. The project will include:
– A new northbound entrance ramp from Burnt Tavern Road and Lanes Mill Road, with access to the park-and-ride lot on the east side of the Parkway.
– A second northbound entrance ramp for vehicles traveling eastbound on Burnt Tavern Road. This ramp will allow access from Burrsville Road. The single existing northbound ramp will be eliminated.
– New northbound exit and entrance ramps linking the Parkway and Burrsville Road.
– A new southbound entrance ramp for traffic heading west on Burnt Tavern Road.
– A second southbound entrance ramp linking Lanes Mill Road with the Parkway. Herborn Avenue will be extended south and east to Lanes Mill Road, where it will meet the new entrance ramp and a signaled intersection.[/box]