Construction Of New Manahawkin Causeway To Begin Soon
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Manahawkin. January 30, 2013
A $350 million project will soon get underway to improve access to a popular summer destination at the Jersey Shore.
The Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Causeway is now the only way to drive from the mainland to Long Beach Island. State officials say the 53-year-old span is outdated.
Construction of a new bridge will begin in the spring, and when it’s completed, the old bridge will be rehabilitated.
Acting Governor Kim Guadagno says having two bridges will be a big improvement.
“If Irene and Sandy have taught us anything we can’t have just one way in and one way out. The bridge will ensure that you have easy access in and out if there is another disaster, but also it will give confidence to the people of the state of New Jersey that we are moving ahead.”
Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson says the project will include a barrier-protected walkway for pedestrians and wide shoulders to accommodate bicyclists.
“Everybody who comes to Long Beach Island and elsewhere it’s all flat. Everybody wants to ride a bike. You want to be healthy. You want to take the stroller maybe and go across the bridge or I hate to say it you don’t want to fight the traffic. It would nice to have an alternate method to get to the mainland if you want to go shopping or do things. Now you’ll be able to do that for the first time ever.”
The construction of the entire project could take seven years to complete.