The eastbound Mathis Bridge and westbound Tunney Bridges are a pair of bridges carrying Route 37 over Barnegat Bay between Toms River and Seaside Heights. The Mathis Bridge, a mile-long double leaf bascule moveable span bridge completed in 1950, is the older of the two and in need of repairs.
The Mathis Bridge (left) and the Tunney Bridge (right)
carry Route 37 from the mainland over the Barnegat Bay
to Pelican Island and Seaside Heights. (July 2016 photo)
The project began construction in November 2015 with the installation of necessary traffic cross-overs. The cross-overs safety channel vehicular traffic onto and off the Tunney Bridge during the construction phases for Mathis Bridge:
- from the western approach, from Fischer Boulevard toward the bridge
- from the eastern approach to Catalina Drive
Construction is scheduled for three seasons and likely to be completed before Summer 2018. The construction season with long term lane closures will be limited to November 1 to April 30 each year. During each of these construction seasons, summer traffic from approximately May 15 to September 15 will not be impacted and all three current lanes on each bridge will be open to traffic.
One lane eastbound and two lanes westbound are to be maintained on the Tunney Bridge during each construction season. The eastbound Mathis Bridge will be completely closed to vehicle traffic during these construction seasons.
With the moveable barriers, should there be a need for evacuation, all three lanes may be made operational in the westerly direction. Alternatively, two lanes in the westbound direction can be maintained with one lane in the eastbound direction to accommodate any emergency access to the barrier island.
The project was awarded for $56.4 million and is funded in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) through the National Highway Performance Program.
Route 37 Mathis Bridge project area map (pdf 3.3m)