BAY HEAD, N.J. - The state Transportation Department is reversing gears on its ambitious plan to rebuild a road ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The department originally planned to start work on the $215 million Route 35 project in Ocean County this summer. It now plans to wait until September to do the most disruptive parts of the plan.
Instead of regrading and repaving the highway, the state will work on pumps and drainage improvements that won't require traffic to stop or lanes to be closed during the summer heavy-traffic months.
Mayors of several of the towns to be affected by the project, including Mantoloking and Bay Head, voiced concerns about what the project would do to the normally traffic-choked highway during the summer. This summer is particularly crucial to businesses that have barely been holding on since Sandy hit Oct. 29 and that are counting on a booming summer season.