NJDOT announces updated schedule for the shuttle service across Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridge
Shuttle allows pedestrians and cyclists to cross the bridge throughout the summer
(Trenton) - New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced a new schedule for the shuttle service across the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridge which is continuing to provide pedestrians and cyclists the ability to cross the bridge.
During construction of the Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Project, the sidewalk that connects the mainland to Long Beach Island is closed to bicyclists and pedestrians. Pedestrian and bicyclists violating this temporary restriction are subject to fines under penalty of law.
To accommodate those wishing to go to LBI, a free shuttle bus will run from Marsha Drive in Stafford with a stop in the eastbound direction at 3rd Street on Bonnet Island. The shuttle bus will then return in the westbound direction stopping at the Public Access Parking Lot on Bay Avenue immediately after the bridge crossing and will return to the shuttle stop at Marsha Drive.
This temporary alternative will operate seven days a week while the sidewalk is closed. The schedule for the shuttle service is included below. The bus shuttle schedule is also posted on the NJDOT project website.
Work on the $350 million Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridge project began in 2013 and is expected to continue through 2020. The three-mile long causeway links Stafford on the mainland with Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island, but is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete after 57 years in existence.
A new bridge has been constructed parallel to the existing one over Manahawkin Bay. The new bridge currently carries two lanes of traffic in each direction, while the existing bridge is being rehabilitated.
Once the project is complete there will be two spans providing the safety of a redundant route on or off the island in the event that one of the bridges needs to be closed. This design is consistent with the Christie Administration’s objectives to build in strength or redundancy to better withstand future storms. The existing causeway sustained relatively minor damage during Super Storm Sandy, but storm damage is a concern especially because it provides the only way for motor vehicles to enter or exit Long Beach Island.
The new bridge is 2,400 feet long with a vertical clearance of 55 feet over Manahawkin Bay. Ultimately, it will function as the bridge for eastbound traffic once the project is completed. This sequence was designed to preserve the current two travel lanes in each direction during busy summer seasons from mid-May to mid-September during daytime hours and weekends. The contractor is allowed single-lane closures overnight and during the off-season, but one lane will always be maintained in each direction.
Construction of the new span was completed in May 2016, and the existing Bay Bridge, which is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete, was closed for rehabilitation. Upon completion of the rehabilitation work, it will serve as the bridge for westbound traffic.
Completion of the entire project is scheduled for 2020. Details for all of the project’s contracts can be found on the NJDOT project web site. The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for construction updates and real-time travel information and for NJDOT news follow us on Twitter @NJDOT_info.