Causeway Walkway Opened from Ship Bottom to Environmental Trail

Mar 27, 2019
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Spring has sprung, and with it comes an influx of people hoping to take advantage of warmer weather before the busy summer season arrives. This year that can include walking from Hochstrasser’s Marina in Ship Bottom to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Trail on Bonnet Island.

The state Department of Transportation confirmed the sidewalk connecting the two areas is open, allowing pedestrians on the north side of the Causeway to walk to the trail, on the south side.

DOT officials said shuttle service from Stafford Township to Long Beach Island is still running and will continue to be available until the sidewalk project is completed in the early fall.

For those more interested in fishing, a safety railing has been installed on the top of a newly constructed bulkhead on Manmade Island, off the northwest section of the span, according to state transportation officials. Once the new sidewalk is completed, the area will be accessible for fishing from behind the rail. The railing includes a lower section for those with disabilities to fish as well, the DOT said.

Work on the $312 million federally funded expansion and rehabilitation project began in 2013 and is expected to continue through 2021. The Causeway, a 3-mile stretch connecting the mainland, Stafford Township, to Long Beach Island, entails one big bridge to carry traffic west, or off the Island, and another bridge to flow eastward. The new bridge, south of the old one, is 2,400 feet long with a vertical clearance of 55 feet above Manahawkin Bay.

The final phase calls for the reconfiguration of the Causeway circle into a square in Ship Bottom. The Arlington Beach Club condo complex marks the area in question. The work zone is located along the western property line of the complex and Long Beach Boulevard, the main thoroughfare on LBI.

In the meantime, a second DOT project along the Route 72 corridor is shifting traffic on the west side of the state highway for the next month as utility work between Martin Truex Jr. Boulevard and the Garden State Parkway prompts the closure of the right lane. The lane closure is in place from 9 a.m. until about 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It began Monday, March 25.

The $11.6 million federally funded Route 72 East Road project addresses traffic congestion and safety concerns. The project will provide highway and signal intersection improvements, including adding a 10-foot shoulder in each direction on Route 72 between the Garden State Parkway and the Stafford Square Shopping Center, widening the median, new barrier curbs, and new traffic signals and roadway improvements at two Route 72 intersections: Roosevelt Boulevard and Doc Cramer Boulevard.

A new culvert and a revised jug handle circling a water basin from Route 72 westbound to a relocated East Road (East Road is being moved approximately 200 feet east from its current location) are also part of the project, which calls for two new stormwater basins to be constructed on Route 72 westbound. Another piece of the project is relocating West Road from its current location between McDonald’s and Mr. Tire to a new location between Element Restaurant and Starboard Plaza. Washington Road, located parallel to Route 72, will end at the new West Road.

Construction is expected to be completed in late 2019, according to the DOT.

The precise timing of work for both projects is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check the DOT’s traffic information website, 511nj.org, for construction updates and real-time travel information, and for DOT news on Twitter @NJDOT_info.

— Gina G. Scala

ggscala@thesandpaper.net

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