TOMS RIVER-Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari voiced concern that Ocean County has yet to see any promised benefits from New Jersey’s ever increasing gasoline taxes, which money was supposed to be used for road and infrastructure improvements statewide.
“We’ve seen no progress on the widening of Route 9,” Vicari said. “The Route 166 project in Toms River continues to drag on with no end in sight. When the state finally decided to rebuild the Mathis Bridge they simply replaced the drawbridge with another drawbridge instead of building a higher span that wouldn’t delay traffic.”
Back in March, Toms River Township officials urged the state to speed up the lagging project along Route 166, which, years after its start, still hinders traffic and business along the route.
Vicari has been a vocal critic of the state’s management of the Route 37 bridge repair project, which saw $74 million used to fix a bridge that will eventually have to be replaced anyway.
According to the state, after Superstorm Sandy, the bridge was classified as “structurally deficient” due to the poor condition of the deck slab and fair condition of the superstructure and substructure, and “functionally obsolete” due to the inadequate bridge roadway width.