Cedar Bonnet Island Resident to Be Heard on Traffic Safety Concerns

By Gina G. Scala | Jan 15, 2020
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Stafford Township — Laurie Hens is marking off the days until Thursday, Feb. 6. That’s when the Cedar Bonnet Island resident is expected to meet with state Department of Transportation and Stafford Township officials to address concerns about the lack of a safe way to access new sidewalks on the north side of the rehabbed old Causeway Bridge she and other residents living on the south side of the sedge island have.

Hens said she received a phone call last week asking her to attend a meeting in Stafford Township. She has been campaigning for such a meeting ever since a walkway on the north side of Cedar Bonnet Island was built without safe walking access for herself and her neighbors. During the planning stage of the multi-million-dollar, federally funded Causeway expansion and rehab project, she was told there would be two walkways on the bridge, one north and one south.

Residents living on the south side of Cedar Bonnet Island currently must walk in the sole traffic lane of the narrow two-way tunnel road that goes under the Causeway to access the walkway. There are two traffic signals, one for motorists and one for pedestrians/bicyclists, at the north end by the Dutchman’s Restaurant and on the south end near the front yard of a Cedar Bonnet Island residence.

The traffic signals are so long some motorists and pedestrians/bicyclists go against the light and come face-to-face with oncoming traffic that does have the green light, according to Hens.

Work on expanding and rehabbing the Causeway began in 2013. It’s expected to continue through 2022. The next major phase of the nine-year project, which has been referred to by state DOT officials as the final phase, will address safety and operational issues at the Route 72/Marsha Drive intersection in Stafford Township, as well as operational and drainage improvements in Ship Bottom, the gateway to LBI.

The final phase calls for the reconfiguration of the Causeway circle into a square. 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 the barrier island.

The precise timing of the work 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 updates.  G.G.S.

 

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