Ocean County drivers will need to prepare alternate routes if you utilize the Mathis and Tunney Bridge on Route 37 for the next couple weeks.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has announced that the Mathis Bridge/Route 37 eastbound is scheduled to be closed overnight for up to two weeks for final testing of the lift span components.

Traffic will be shifted onto the Tunney Bridge/Route 37 westbound each night while work is taking place in Ocean County.

Work will take place between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the next morning, Monday through Saturday, for up to two weeks.

NJDOT’s contractor Schiavone Construction Company, will shift Route 37 eastbound traffic to one lane of the westbound side of the Tunney Bridge in Toms River which will close Route 37 at the intersection of Douglas Street just before the Mathis Bridge.

Traffic will be shifted back onto Route 37 eastbound after crossing the Tunney Bridge near Catalina Avenue on Pelican Island.

The jughandle to turn onto Douglas Street in Toms River will remain open.

While the Mathis Bridge is closed each night, one lane of traffic westbound and one lane eastbound will be maintained on the Tunney Bridge, separated by construction drums.

By 6:00 a.m. each morning, both bridges will be restored to three lanes.

The eastbound Mathis Bridge and westbound Tunney Bridges are a pair of bridges carrying Route 37 over Barnegat Bay between Toms River and Seaside Heights.

The Mathis Bridge, a mile-long double leaf bascule moveable span bridge completed in 1950, is the older of the two and had been in need of repairs.

This final testing of the lift span components will complete the $56.4 million federally-funded project that replaced the existing bridge deck on the Mathis Bridge, which was 68 years old, made safety improvements to the barrier and railings, and repaired and replaced mechanical and electrical components that operate the moveable lift span.

Construction was completed in May of 2018.

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