Tough Winter Playing Havoc With Route 35 Reconstruction [AUDIO]
The rough winter weather has slowed the Route 35 reconstruction project. Shore area officials are hoping it will be done in time for the summer, but many think that's unlikely considering the snow, ice and rain.
Officials with the New Jersey Department of Transportation had originally hoped the project would be completed by Memorial Day, but with all of the setbacks from Mother Nature, that seems unlikely. Townsquare Media reached out to them for comment, but repeated phone calls and messages went unanswered.
Ocean County Freeholder Director Joe Vicari has been keeping a close watch on the project. He serves as the liaison to tourism in the county, which was hit very hard by Superstorm Sandy. He has heard from the local mayors, and the plan would be to finish the project in phases if necessary.
"We have been in talks and the best way to deal with it would be a stop during the busy season and a restart," Vicari said. "We heard they would stop at Memorial Day, open the road up again to traffic and then close it again well after Labor Day."
Vicari said no matter what, the local shore towns will be ready for the summer since the shore tourism season provides the state economy with billions in revenue. "The boardwalk will be open. The shops will be open. The shore is coming back better than ever."