Representatives Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Jon Runyan (NJ-03) said the New Jersey Department of Transportation will receive $76 million in federal funding for New Jersey's planned Route 35 reconstruction in Ocean County.
"This vital infrastructure project will replace what was an aging, antiquated roadway even before Sandy, with a state-of-the-art stretch of highway that is designed to last," said Smith, whose district like Runyan's, includes large parts of Ocean County. "Route 35 is an important travel artery along the Jersey Shore. The completed roadway will accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles in a much safer way."
"I am pleased that the Department of Transportation is awarding this grant for over $75 million to help rebuild New Jersey's transportation infrastructure damaged during Hurricane Sandy," said Runyan. "After fighting to push the $60 billion Sandy recovery package through Congress, impacted families, businesses, and communities are finally starting to get the resources they need to rebuild. Highway infrastructure along the Ocean County shoreline, most notably Route 35, was significantly damaged in Hurricane Sandy and this money can be used to help rebuild these critical roads, and help our coastal communities recover."
Redesign plans for the 12.5 mile stretch of roadway between the Point Pleasant Beach-Bay Head border on Route 35 to the entrance to Island State Beach Park include wider and safer berms, a much deeper substructure, and a newly designed drainage system. The current drainage system, which now zigzags beneath the roadway, will be replaced with one that runs along the side of the highway and will also include a modern pumping system. Smith said: "The new drainage design should prevent water from eroding the highway from beneath and also keep if off the highway surface, providing for a safer and stronger highway."
The upgrading will be done in three geographic sections, each approximately four-miles in length beginning at the Point Pleasant Beach-Bay Head border. The aim is to have the project completely finished by the summer of 2015. The Representatives' offices reached out to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to discuss how the road work could least impact residences and businesses along Route 35.
The funding is part of the United States Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Emergency Relief Program, which is designed to aid the repair and reconstruction of highways that have suffered serious damage as a result of natural disasters. Superstorm Sandy destroyed much of the highway, moving concrete slabs around and obliterating much of the roadway's underground drainage system.