POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The weekend is upon us, which means people are heading down the shore.
But as CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, some beach goers say they’re frustrated by traffic and questioning why road maintenance has to be done in the peak of summer.
A stack of cones and road work signs could be seen Friday in the back of a truck off Route 35 South. The cones will be used to shut down lanes on the bridge connecting Brielle to Point Pleasant for road repairs on weekdays.
“There’s only one lane coming and going, and it’s a least half an hour to get into town,” Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Stephen Reid said.
It’s prime time down the shore, and locals say Mondays are just as important as Saturdays for the economy.
“DOT and Point Pleasant Beach have an agreement that basically no work should ever go on during summer months, especially down the shore,” Reid said.
So why is the work continuing?
The mayor said he has not gotten a clear answer from the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Meanwhile, business owners in the downtown area are frustrated too.
“You know that kind of deters people from even coming down,” one store owner said.
Jenkinson’s boardwalk is feeling the pain.
“Bridge and lane closures have been frustrating for both employees trying to get to work on time and customers trying to get here. They have limited time on their day off, and they want to make the most of it,” Marketing Director Tony Wolf said.
On Friday, the lanes were open and construction workers seemed to be on lawn duty. The DOT said a contractor is performing maintenance and utility upgrades.
“As a policy, NJ DOT limits construction activity in the summer on shore routes, except for emergency work,” the department said in a statement. “The routes along the Jersey Shore are not only critical to the regional economy, but also vital for emergency evacuations.”
So there seems to be a disconnect between the emergency repair policy and practice, Baker reported.
The DOT said the work started in June and is expected to be completed sometime in August. Lanes will only be closed Monday through Thursday.