Three-Day, Route 166 Traffic Shift Expected

By Catherine Galioto

DOT Seal Motorists on Route 166-Main Street in Toms River should expect traffic delays for approximately three days starting March 28, for work that will help the state roads department eventually widen Route 166.

The state Department of Transportation announced a traffic shift for the area of Colfax Street to Old Freehold Road of Route 166, milepost 1.63 to 2.35. That area includes the Route 37 intersection.

DOT contractor New Prince Concrete will shift traffic on the roadway to permit drainage work on the southbound side.

As a result, southbound traffic will be shifted to the northbound side of Route 166, creating one lane of traffic in each direction. DOT Spokesperson Kevin Israel said the temporary lane shift should last approximately three days.

The project will include drainage improvements, utility work, and milling and paving to permit widening of this portion of Route 166.

The state’s future plan for the Routes 37 and 166 intersection eventually call for a concrete barrier separating opposing traffic on the north side of the intersection, a traffic light at Highland Parkway, and a revamped ramp for vehicles traveling from Route 166 north to Route 37 eastbound. The ramp would connect farther south on Route 166 than the current one, according to state plans.

The stretch has become notorious for accidents and traffic. At the traffic light of Old Freehold Road and Route 166, more than 60 car crashes required police response from 2013-15.

The work at the end of March is for the southbound lanes. The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors, officials said. Blinking message boards were installed recently on the Garden State Parkway and Route 37 to notify motorists of the scheduled, temporary traffic shift.

Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website for real-time travel information.