May 27, 2008

Lower Rt. 36 speed limit announced

It's 35 mph along one stretch due to bridge-replacement project


The speed limit along part of Route 36 in the borough will be lowered from 45 to 35 mph today.

The reduction is due to construction work on the Route 36 Highlands-Sea Bright bridge, Borough Police Chief Joseph Blewett said. The state Department of Transportation recently notified him of the reduction, he said.

The 35 mph section will begin after the Linden Avenue traffic light at Kavookjian Field on the eastbound side of the roadway to Sea Bright, he said. The stretch of road is less than a mile from the bridge.

The DOT began its bridge-replacement project about four months ago. It's estimated to take about three years.

About 10 days ago, J.H. Reid Construction Co., the contractor for the $124 million project, had to close three of the four lanes on the bridge for preliminary work. At that time, motorists had to use a westbound lane to cross the bridge. Although no lane closings are scheduled now, the company will be working on the bridge within a few weeks and will have to divert traffic to a specific lane to cross the bridge.

Blewett said police will be at the site while the construction company is rerouting traffic.

This week, the company's projected work is to continue with its installation of the north pedestrian bridge and a drainage pipe, both in Gateway National Park. It will also relocate JCP&L electrical lines on Bay Avenue and on the north and south ramps of the bridge and continue its sheeting work.

The company is expected to work 12-hour days, starting this week, for a two-week period. However, the company will stop work by 3 p.m. Fridays, said Dale Luebner, the borough engineer.