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Major Work on Route 37 Bridge Planned to Begin in 2015, Last Until 2018

State plans full closure to traffic during winter months during construction

The Thomas A. Mathis Bridge (right, eastbound). (Patch File Photo)
The Thomas A. Mathis Bridge (right, eastbound). (Patch File Photo)
A major, three year-long rehabilitation project is being planned for the Thomas A. Mathis Bridge which connects Toms River to Seaside Heights, according to a public notice issued by the U.S. Coast Guard. Work is set to begin in late 2015.

The double-bascule bridge, which carries Route 37 eastbound from mainland Toms River to Seaside Heights across Barnegat Bay, will receive extensive structural rehabilitation, decking replacement, bearing replacement, electrical repairs, gate replacement as well as other improvements, according to a plan filed with the Coast Guard by Parsons Brinkerhoff, a design consultant working with the state Department of Transportation. The work was codified in the federal register in late April, and the Coast Guard is preparing to modify the bridge's opening schedule during the construction.

According to the Coast Guard's public notice on the project, the construction period will run from Dec. 1, 2015 to March 31, 2018. A planning document from the state Department of Transportation says the project will likely be advertised for bid in August and is estimated to cost over $10 million.

Vehicular traffic across the bridge will not be affected during the months of May through October, though no traffic will be allowed on Mathis Bridge from November through April, and will be diverted to a reconfigured J. Stanley Tunney Bridge.

The Tunney bridge is a larger, raised bridge that carries traffic westbound across the bay from Seaside Heights to mainland Toms River.

The Tunney bridge will have one eastbound lane open and two westbound lanes open during construction, the document said.

According to the Coast Guard's public notice, the bridge will be closed to marine navigation for three, four-month closure periods which will run from December through March.

The Mathis bridge was constructed in 1950 and replaced a wooden bridge that spanned Barnegat Bay. It was last refurbished in the 1980s.
Marynary May 28, 2014 at 11:44 AM
The Tunney Bridge is the newer Westbound bridge. The Mathis Bridge is the one featured in the story.
Heywood May 28, 2014 at 12:34 PM
@grace where do you propose the bridge to land at? Perhaps near Good Luck Point? or maybe down by Sloop Creek? Forget Ocean Gate, those stuck ups would never allow a bridge in their town, only Windmills are allowed.
grace May 28, 2014 at 12:38 PM
good luck point a good idea..it could work and take me right to sloop creek flare gun drive
Mac May 28, 2014 at 01:52 PM
thank you marynary - I keep forgetting about the express bridge of corruption
grace May 28, 2014 at 02:27 PM
remember the wooden bridge and 2 lane rt 37..wow ive been here along time :)

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