As the light shines at the end of the tunnel (we're told) for the Route 37-166 road project in Toms River, the NJ DOT has announced that a portion of the road will be closed on Thursday night.

The NJ DOT have announced that Route 166 is scheduled to be closed and detoured in both directions overnight to remove the work zone and reopen two lanes in both directions as the Route 166 intersection safety improvements project nears completion.

The road will be closed between 10:00 p.m. Thursday, March 28 until 6:00 a.m. Friday morning when the NJ-DOT’s contractor, New Prince Concrete, is scheduled to close Route 166 in both directions between Route 37 and Old Freehold Road to remove barriers and re-stripe the roadway in its final configuration.

At the moment, Route 166 between Route 37 and Old Freehold Road has a center work zone with a single outer lane in each direction.

By Friday morning, two lanes in each direction will be open.

Here's the detour you need to be aware of:

Route 166 northbound detour:

  • Traffic wishing to use Route 166 northbound will be directed to take Route 37 east
  • Turn left on Hooper Avenue
  • Turn left on Mapletree Road
  • Turn left on Old Freehold Road to Route 166

Route 166 southbound detour:

  • Traffic on Route 166 southbound will be directed to turn left on Old Freehold
  • Turn right on Mapletree Road
  • Turn right on Hooper Avenue
  • Turn right on Route 37 west to Route 166

Final paving is expected to take place overnight in the next several weeks to complete the project.

The $11,700,000.00 project includes upgrades for the intersection of Route 166 and Route 37 with a raised median barrier between opposing traffic, improvement of the roadway geometry, making traffic signal improvements between Highland Parkway and Old Freehold Road, and widening the roadway by constructing a new through lane on Route 166 northbound and southbound.

NJ DOT Spokewoman Mairin Bellack told WOBM News in February that the project will be done this spring for sure.

"The final configuration will be done in the spring," Bellack said at the time. "Unfortunately we have to wait for warmer weather to do the final paving but as of right now the construction has been done, it's just waiting for the final paving."

Delays after delays are the biggest reason the work has yet to be completed and none bigger than the aforementioned TTF Shutdown which not only stopped work but forced the DOT to reschedule times with utility companies to come back in and do the work they needed to do.

"The $11.7 million state-funded project is expected to be completed this spring, before Memorial Day, when the weather is warmer, but we don’t have a date yet," NJ DOT Spokesman Steve Schapiro told WOBM News.

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