Route 35 rebuilding project kicks off

SEASIDE PARK – Gov. Chris Christie came to this peninsula Shore town Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony for a $265 million project to rebuild the major thoroughfare wrecked by Superstorm Sandy last October.

Christie and Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson said the 12-and-a-half mile, Route 35 project will cover eight towns from Bayhead to Berkeley along the Barnegat peninsula, and is designed to make the road better than before the storm.

“The damage was catastrophic,’’ Christie told an assembled crowd of more than a hundred people on a sun-splashed, breezy day that was the exact opposite of that October day when Sandy made landfall.

The project, targeted for completion by the summer of 2015, will include nine pumping stations, a 24-inch- thick road contoured for storm water drainage, with above-ground electrical panels, inlets that will filter out smaller debris and overall result in a road designed to withstand a so-called 25-year storm.

Christie and Simpson cautioned residents that the work will entail some inconvenience, but that during the key summer tourism months all lanes will be open.

Christie said that 80 percent of the project will come from the federal Sandy emergency relief fund.

Route 35 rebuilding project kicks off