The Route 37 Mathis Bridge
(New Jersey Department of Transportation photo)
Marking the official opening of the summer Shore season, Gov. Phil Murphy praised the completion of the Route 37 Mathis Bridge rehabilitation project as one of many vital infrastructure investments made to roads and bridges in the region.
“Tourism is a $44 billion industry in New Jersey and having new and improved transportation infrastructure is key to ensuring that residents, visitors, and businesses have the ability to travel safely and with ease to get to their destinations,” said Murphy. “I'm even more impressed that all three lanes of the Bridge reopened well ahead of the expected Memorial Day crowds and the start of the summer vacation season.”
The completion earlier this month of the Route 37 Mathis Bridge rehabilitation project is just one example of the billions of dollars that the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority have invested in road and bridge safety and improvement projects. In addition, NJDOT has completed several dredging projects that have restored state channels to navigable depths, for the first time since Superstorm Sandy.
“The investments in New Jersey's roads, bridges, and State channels are vital to creating a vibrant economy at the Shore, but more importantly, these projects mean heading to your favorite vacation destinations will be safer and easier for years to come,” said Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, NJDOT acting commissioner. “Projects like the Route 37 Mathis Bridge rehabilitation, which was completed on time over three winter seasons to avoid impacting summer vacationers, are examples of designing projects in a way that improves our infrastructure while minimizing the inconvenience to residents and businesses.”
Route 37 Mathis Bridge Project
The $59.9 million federally-funded Route 37 Mathis Bridge project was completed on time and cost $14 million less than original construction estimates. The project replaced the existing bridge deck on the 68-year-old moveable lift span bridge, made safety improvements to the barrier and railings, and repaired and replaced mechanical and electrical components that operate the moveable lift span. Construction began in October 2015 and was accomplished in three winter seasons so summer traffic would not be affected.
Other Transportation Investments in the Shore Region
In addition to the Route 37 Mathis Bridge project, other NJDOT and NJ Turnpike Authority projects that were recently completed or are under way in the Shore region include:
- $475 million Garden State Parkway (GSP) widening of 45 mi. between Toms River and the Atlantic City Expressway, with the third and final phase completed last month;
- $220 million GSP Great Egg Harbor Bridge, completed construction of a new parallel span in 2016, rehabilitation of the old span expected to be completed in 2019;
- $64 million GSP Mullica River Bridge;
- $58 million GSP Bass River Bridge — the bridges over the Bass and Mullica rivers have undergone major improvements involving the construction of new parallel spans and the rehabilitation of the existing spans. Bass and Mullica are complete;
- $78 million GSP Cape May Interchanges — In 2015, three overpasses were built and opened that carry the GSP over local roads Interchanges 9, 10 and 11 in Middle Township eliminating the only traffic signals on the Parkway, increasing safety and reducing congestion;
- $312 million Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges project between Stafford and Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island is under way with the new parallel span opening in 2016;
- $11.7 million Route 50 Tuckahoe River Bridge connecting Upper Township in Cape May County with Corbin City in Atlantic County, completed in May 2017;
- $2.1 million, 24-mi. High Friction Surface Treatment safety improvement project between Upper Township and Hamilton; and
- $20.2 million for Dredging projects in Barnegat Bay, Forked River, Shark River, Shrewsbury, and Keansburg.