STAFFORD - Stafford Township leadership and the NJ Department of Transportation released the following statement today, Wednesday, May 27.

Route 72 eastbound lanes reopen tomorrow as the Route 72 East Road project nears completion in Stafford Final milling and paving to be completed in a few weeks.

New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced alternating lane closures on Route 72 in both directions tonight to shift traffic into the final traffic pattern as the East Road project nears its completion in Stafford, Ocean County

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Beginning at 8 p.m., tonight, Wednesday, May 27, until 7 a.m., Thursday, May 28, NJDOT’s contractor Earle Asphalt Co., will have alternating double lane closures on Route 72 in both directions to shift traffic into its final road configuration.

After the shift, Route 72 eastbound will have three travel lanes and a full width shoulder available. There will be no change to Route 72 westbound, which currently has three lanes of traffic and a shoulder available. The shift will begin near the Garden State Parkway entrance onto Route 72 and continue through just past Doc Cramer Boulevard. At least one lane on Route 72 in each direction will be maintained overnight.

Beginning on Friday, May 29, and continuing overnight for the next few weeks, final milling and paving of the entire project area will take place including Route 72 in both directions between the Garden State Parkway and Martin Truex Jr. Boulevard, side streets, and ramps.

The $11.6 million federally-funded Route 72 East Road project made highway and signal intersection improvements to address congestion and safety concerns. Improvements included the addition of a 10-foot shoulder in each direction on Route 72 between the Garden State Parkway and the Stafford Square Shopping Center, median widening, new barrier curbs, plus new traffic signals and roadway improvements at two Route 72 intersections - Roosevelt Boulevard and Doc Cramer Boulevard.

A new culvert and a revised jug handle circling a water basin from Route 72 westbound to a relocated East Road were constructed and moved approximately 200 feet east from its previous location. In addition, two new storm water basins were constructed further down on Route 72 westbound, and West Road was relocated east from its current location between McDonalds and Mr. Tire to a new location between Element Restaurant and Starboard Plaza. Washington Road, located parallel to Route 72 now ends at the new West Road.

Construction is expected to be completed in late summer 2020. The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors.

Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for construction updates and real-time travel information and for NJDOT news follow us on Twitter @NJDOT_info or on the NJDOT Facebook page.