By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
The state Department of Transportation is done with the heavy-duty work on the Route 36 Highlands Bridge, and announced Friday that all four lanes were open to traffic.
If you drove over the bridge this weekend, though, you noticed only two were open.
That’s because the four lanes were “technically” open, not literally. DOT spokesman Timothy Greeley told redbankgreen that the two southbound lanes were shut down over the weekend so they could be striped.
“What we were announcing was that we were opening the northbound structure for the first time Friday,” Greeley said, noting that until then, traffic was single-lane in each direction on the southbound structure. “For all intents and purposes, the bridge is open.”
And ahead of schedule. The state had estimated the 65-foot-high fixed bridge over the Shrewsbury River would be open for four lanes of traffic at the end of the year, Greeley said.
More work remains to be done. Sea Bright Council President William Keeler said workers will continue with aesthetic projects at the bridge, like lighting and signs, until spring.
NJDOT started construction on the $134 million bridge linking Sea Bright and Sandy Hook with Highlands in early 2008. The “ancillary” work that’s left to do will not affect traffic, Greeley said.
The ramp from Sandy Hook to the bridge is still closed, but is expected to be open for traffic in about a week, Greeley said literally.
“Most likely Saturday,” he said.