Construction at the intersection of Routes 35 and 36 in has hit a speed bump.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation, which is running the massive project near Monmouth Mall, said this week that work there will take six months longer than originally projected. The project will realign Route 35, reconfigure traffic at its intersection with Route 36 and add sidewalks.
According to DOT spokesman Timothy Greeley, the department recently authorized a schedule extension, which will push the project out to January 2013.
The DOT reported only minor delays in October due to utility relocation and said its contractor was rearranging the construction schedule to keep the project moving, even as it waited on utility companies to move their lines.
The new year brings a renewed timeline and the DOT rep said that the relocation of water, electric, gas and telephone lines are to blame for the six-month extension to construction.
"It would be unfair to specify one company," Greeley said. "More than a normal job, utility relocation played a big role."
According to Greeley, DeFino Contracting has finished the first stage of construction and is progressing through the final elements of the second stage of construction. Currently the old Route 35 southbound lanes at the intersection (old alignment) are being excavated and construction of new median, sidewalks and associated drainage work will continue through the winter, provided the weather cooperates.
Route 35 northbound will remain in the existing alignment until the third stage of construction begins in early spring. During this stage the contractor will shift Route 35 northbound to the new alignment, make improvements to the Route 36 westbound ramp to Route 35 northbound, construct a new loop ramp to connect Route 36 eastbound traffic to Route 35 northbound and complete final median, sidewalk and surface pavement work throughout the project limits.
One of the goals of the project is to ease congestion at the Route 36 and Wyckoff Road area. By the end of the project, Route 36 eastbound traffic that now heads down Wyckoff Road (by and the ) en route to Route 35 north (by), will be redirected. Eventually drivers, exiting the parkway for example, will head east on Route 36 and will pass Wyckoff Road to take a new jughandle (by), which will put them onto Route 35 north (by ).