Ocean Drive (New Jersey)

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Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NJDOT, Cape May and Atlantic counties, Egg Harbor Township, Ventnor City, Atlantic City, and Cape May County Bridge Commission
Length50.08 mi[1][2] (80.60 km)
Major junctions
South endDead end in Cape May Point
Major intersections
North endMaine Avenue in Atlantic City
Location
CountryUnited States
StateNew Jersey
CountiesCape May, Atlantic
Highway system
CR 627Atlantic County 629.svg CR 630
CR 618Cape May County Route 619 NJ.svg CR 620
CR 620Cape May County Route 621 NJ.svg CR 622
CR 655Cape May County Route 656 NJ.svg CR 657

Ocean Drive is a series of local roads in southern New Jersey, connecting Atlantic City to Cape May along barrier islands on the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of several roads and includes all five toll bridges owned by the Cape May County Bridge Commission.

Route description

Northbound on Ocean Drive (CR 621) in Wildwood Crest

Ocean Drive begins in Cape May Point, and its southern terminus is split among two separate roads. One branch of Ocean Drive begins on Sunset Boulevard (County Route 606) at its dead end and travels for 0.5 miles. The second branch of Ocean Drive begins on Cape Avenue (County Route 651) at Lincoln Avenue, and travels for 0.7 miles. The two branches meet at an intersection, and Ocean Drive continues along CR 606 into the City of Cape May. At the end of CR 606, Ocean Drive turns south along Broadway (CR 626), then heads east along Beach Avenue (CR 604). Ocean Drive travels along the coast to Pittsburg Avenue (CR 622), and heads north along to CR 622 to its terminus at Lafayette Street (Route 109), and continues north again.[3][4]

It crosses the Cape May Canal into Lower Township and makes a right turn onto County Route 621. At this point, Ocean Drive signage begins. It then crosses over the Middle Thorofare Bridge (toll southbound) and continues north into Wildwood Crest. Ocean Drive diverges from CR 621 at Hollywood Avenue (signage continues Ocean Drive along CR 621), heading southeast to meet Atlantic Avenue, and follows this road through through Wildwood Crest and Wildwood (where it intersects New Jersey Route 47). At the North Wildwood line, the road jogs northwest along East 26th Avenue and returns to CR 621 and the signed route, following this route north. In North Wildwood, CR 621 ends and Ocean Drive follows New Jersey Route 147 into Middle Township.[3][4]

View north on Ocean Drive (CR 619) between 40th Street and 39th Street in downtown Sea Isle City

It then turns right onto County Route 619 and crosses over the Grassy Sound Bridge (toll northbound) and then the Stone Harbor Bridge into Stone Harbor. Ocean Drive follows CR 619 north through Stone Harbor's 3rd Avenue and into Avalon on Ocean Drive (at 80th St. 3rd Avenue turns into Ocean Drive). It then crosses over the Townsends Inlet Bridge (toll southbound) and continues north through Sea Isle City. It then heads through the Strathmere section of Upper Township before crossing the Strathmere Bascule Bridge (toll northbound) and Corson's Inlet Bridge into Ocean City.[3][4]

Once in Ocean City, CR 619 turns northeast onto West Avenue (Ocean Drive signage continues to follow CR 619 before turning west on County Route 623 and north on County Route 656), while Ocean Drive continues two blocks further to Central Avenue, following this road past its intersection with CR 623. At 28th Street, the road takes a jog southeast for one block before following Wesley Avenue through downtown Ocean City, where it crosses 9th Street, which provides access to New Jersey Route 52. Ocean Drive then joins CR 656 and the signed route, with which it crosses the Ocean City-Longport Bridge (toll southbound) over the Great Egg Harbor Bay into Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County.[3][4]

Upon entering Atlantic County, Ocean Drive follows the northern approach of the Ocean City-Longport Bridge to New Jersey Route 152. At this point, Ocean Drive signage ends. It then makes a right turn on Route 152 and follows it to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway into Longport. Ocean Drive then heads north on Atlantic Avenue through Longport, Margate City and Ventnor City. Atlantic Avenue continues into Atlantic City, and Ocean Drive terminates at the end of Atlantic Avenue in Uptown Atlantic City at N Maine Avenue.[3][4]

Tolls

Middle Thorofare Bridge

The five toll bridges on Ocean Drive charge $2.50 for cars, which can be paid in cash or with E-ZPass. The Middle Thorofare, Townsends Inlet, and Ocean City-Longport bridges have tolls in the southbound direction while the Grassy Sound and Corsons Inlet bridges have northbound tolls.[5] The tolls were slated to rise to $2.50 in February 2023 and $3 in February 2024.[6]

When the Ocean Drive bridges were first built, the toll for cars was 25 cents, charged in both directions at the Middle Thorofare, Grassy Sound, Townsends Inlet, Corsons Inlet, and Ocean City-Longport bridges. Toll hikes occurred in 1978, 1984, and 1988 in order to fund construction projects to the bridges. Following the rebuilding of the Ocean City-Longport Bridge in 2002, that bridge was converted to one-way tolling, with a $1 toll charged to cars in the southbound direction. The other bridges would be converted to one-way tolling by 2002.[7] Tolls were raised to $1.50 on February 1, 2009.[6]

In 2017 the Cape May County Freeholders approved the purchase of E-ZPass equipment to be installed on the bridges from Lower Township to Ocean City.[8] The introduction of E-ZPass was originally planned for June 2017 but was then delayed multiple times. E-ZPass was implemented at the Ocean City-Longport Bridge on April 30, 2018, the Middle Thorofafe Bridge on May 7, 2018, the Grassy Sound Bridge on May 14, 2018, and the Corsons Inlet Bridge and the Townsends Inlet Bridge on May 21, 2018.[9][10]

History

Northbound on Ocean Drive (CR 619) past CR 601 in Avalon

The Cape May County Bridge Commission was created by the county in 1934 in order to build a series of toll bridges linking the coastal communities of Cape May County. With the creation of this agency, the bridges were to receive federal funding through the New Deal. In 1940, several of the bridges comprising Ocean Drive were built, including the Middle Thorofare Bridge, Grassy Sound Bridge, and Townsends Inlet Bridge. In 1946, the Corsons Inlet Bridge was built and the Ocean City-Longport Bridge, built in 1927, was purchased by the commission, completing the link for the barrier islands between Cape May and Atlantic City.[7]

Along its route, the Ocean Drive followed mostly local roads.[3] The exception was the portion across the Cape May Canal between Cape May Canal and Lower Township, which was initially part of US 9 and Route 4 before becoming US 9 only in 1953 and then Route 109 in the 1970s.[11][12][13][14] By the 1950s and 1960s, most of the remainder of Ocean Drive became part of several county routes. The route between Sunset Beach and Cape May became CR 6 while the spur into Cape May Point became CR 51. Within Cape May, Ocean Drive became CR 26, CR 4, and CR 22 before it joined US 9. Past US 9, it became CR 21 and part of CR 585 before heading through Wildwood Crest and Wildwood along Atlantic Avenue. In North Wildwood, the route became CR 7/CR 585 before turning north into Middle Township and following CR 18/CR 585. Ocean Drive turned north and followed CR 30 through Stone Harbor and Avalon and CR 19 through Sea Isle City and into Ocean City. In Ocean City, Ocean Drive continued north from CR 19 onto Wesley Avenue and Gardens Parkway.[3][15]

Ocean Drive (CR 656) northbound past CR 623 in Ocean City

Continuing into Atlantic County, the route headed east on CR 20 and entered Longport, where it became CR 29 through Longport, Margate City, and into Ventnor City. North of the Dorset Avenue intersection, Ocean Drive was locally maintained.[3][16] In 1969, the CR 20 portion of Ocean Drive in Atlantic County became Route 152 and in 1971, the portion of Ocean Drive leading into North Wildwood became a part of Route 147.[17][18] CR 585 was later removed from Ocean Drive and the remaining county routes in Cape May and Atlantic counties were given numbers in the 600-series. As a result, CR 6 became CR 606, CR 51 became CR 651, CR 26 became CR 626, CR 4 became CR 604, CR 22 became CR 622, CR 21 and CR 7 became CR 621, CR 30 and CR 19 became CR 619 in Cape May County.[15][19] In Atlantic County, CR 29 became CR 629.[16][20] In addition, Ocean Drive was modified to use CR 621 through the entirety of The Wildwoods and CR 656 (former CR 56) through the northern part of Ocean City.[4][19]

Over the years, several of the bridges along Ocean Drive have been reconstructed. In the late 1940s, the Ocean City-Longport Bridge was reconstructed due to poor maintenance from the earlier owner. In 1993, it was determined this bridge needed to be replaced, with the new bridge opening in July 2002. A portion of the old bridge became a fishing pier. In 1998, bonds were issued for improvements to all of the bridges owned by the commission. Bonds were issued in 2005 for construction projects on the Townsends Inlet Bridge and Corsons Inlet Bridge.[7] On September 17, 2018, the Townsends Inlet Bridge closed for a $8.6 million project that will replace the bridge with a new span. The new bridge was expected to open to traffic on May 22, 2019,[21] however, the opening date was pushed back due to more extensive replacement work needing to be done.[22] The Townsends Inlet Bridge reopened on July 25, 2019.[23]

Major intersections

CountyLocationmi[1][2]kmDestinationsNotes
Cape MayLower Township0.000.00Dead endWestern terminus of CR 606, southern terminus of Ocean Drive
0.370.60
CR 651 south (Cape Avenue)
Branch of Ocean Drive follows CR 651 0.73 mi (1.17 km) into Cape May Point
0.440.71
CR 629 south (Lighthouse Avenue)
West Cape May1.522.45
CR 607 north (Bayshore Road)
2.193.52
CR 606 ends

CR 626 north (Broadway)

CR 633 north (Perry Street)
Eastern terminus of CR 606, north end of CR 606 overlap, south end of CR 626 overlap
Cape May2.413.88
CR 627 west (Mt. Vernon Avenue)
2.504.02
CR 626 begins

CR 604 west (Beach Avenue)
Southern terminus of CR 626, north end of CR 626 overlap, south end of CR 604 overlap
3.665.89
CR 653 north (Madison Avenue)
4.226.79
CR 604 east (Beach Avenue)

CR 622 begins (Pittsburg Avenue)
Southern terminus of CR 622, north end of CR 604 overlap, south end of CR 622 overlap
4.867.82
CR 640 east (Delaware Avenue)
5.258.45
CR 622 ends

Route 109 south (Washington Street)
Northern terminus of CR 622, north end of CR 622 overlap, south end of Route 109 overlap
Lower Township5.699.16


Route 109 north to US 9 / G.S. Parkway

CR 621 begins
Southern terminus of CR 621, north end of Route 109 overlap, south end of CR 621 overlap, southern terminus of Ocean Drive signage
Middle ThorofareMiddle Thorofare Bridge (toll southbound)
Lower Township
CR 630 north (Fish Dock Road)
Wildwood10.9917.69

Route 47 / CR 661 north (Rio Grande Boulevard) to G.S. Parkway
11.9419.22
CR 614 north (Magnolia Avenue)
North Wildwood13.4821.69
CR 621 ends

Route 147 begins
Northern terminus of CR 621, eastern terminus of Route 147, north end of CR 621 overlap, south end of Route 147 overlap
Middle Township14.8223.85


Route 147 west to G.S. Parkway north

CR 619 begins
Southern terminus of CR 619, north end of Route 147 overlap, south end of CR 619 overlap
Grassy SoundGrassy Sound Bridge (toll northbound)
Intracoastal WaterwayStone Harbor Bridge
Stone Harbor18.2529.37
CR 657 north (96th Street)
Avalon21.7635.02
CR 601 (Avalon Boulevard/30th Street) to G.S. Parkway
Townsends InletTownsends Inlet Bridge (toll southbound)
Sea Isle City26.4142.50
CR 625 west (JFK Boulevard)
Upper Township30.0348.33
CR 636 east (Commonwealth Avenue)
Strathmere BayStrathmere Bascule Bridge (toll northbound)
Corson InletCorsons Inlet Bridge
Ocean City32.4652.24

CR 619 Spur south (55th Street)
34.5955.67
CR 656 north (35th Street)
34.7055.84
CR 619 ends

CR 623 east (34th Street)
Northern terminus of CR 619, north end of CR 619 overlap, south end of CR 623 overlap
34.8856.13

CR 623 west (Roosevelt Boulevard) to G.S. Parkway – Marmora, Tuckahoe

CR 656 south (Bay Avenue)
North end of CR 623 overlap, south end of CR 656 overlap
37.5860.48

9th Street to Route 52 / G.S. Parkway
39.8064.05
CR 656 ends
North end of CR 656 overlap
Great Egg Harbor Bay39.8064.05Ocean City-Longport Bridge (toll southbound)
AtlanticLongport41.0166.00

Route 152 west to G.S. Parkway – Somers Point
South end of Route 152 overlap, northern terminus of Ocean Drive signage
41.9167.45
Route 152 ends

CR 629 begins (Ventnor Avenue)
Eastern terminus of Route 152, north end of Route 152 overlap, south end of CR 629 overlap
Margate City43.6570.25

CR 563 north (Jerome Avenue) to G.S. Parkway
Ventnor City45.3072.90
CR 629 north (Dorset Avenue)
North end of CR 629 overlap
Atlantic City46.7275.19

US 40 west / US 322 west (Albany Avenue)
Eastern termini of US 40 and US 322
46.9375.53Atlantic AvenueNorth end of Ventnor Avenue overlap, south end of Atlantic Avenue overlap
47.74–
47.81
76.83–
76.94


Arkansas Avenue/Christopher Columbus Boulevard to A.C. Expressway / G.S. Parkway – Philadelphia, Camden
49.3579.42Maine AvenueNorthern terminus of Ocean Drive and Atlantic Avenue
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References

  1. ^ a b "Cape May County straight line diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Atlantic County straight line diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Map of the Ocean Drive: Atlantic City – Cape May, New Jersey (Map). Rand McNally. 1964.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Google (January 15, 2011). "overview of Ocean Drive" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  5. ^ "Toll Schedule". Cape May County Bridge Commission. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Proposed 2022-2024 Toll Adjustments". Cape May County Bridge Commission. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  7. ^ a b c "Bridge History". Cape May County Bridge Commission. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  8. ^ Campbell, Al (February 20, 2017). "E-Z Pass Coming to County Toll Bridges". Cape May County Herald. CapeMayCountyHerald.com. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  9. ^ Goldman, Jeff (April 25, 2018). "Long-delayed E-ZPass lanes finally coming to 5 Jersey Shore bridges". NJ.com. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  10. ^ Wittkowski, Donald (May 28, 2018). "E-ZPass Arrives on Townsends Inlet Bridge". Sea Isle News. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  11. ^ "1953 renumbering". New Jersey Department of Highways. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2009. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ "New Road Signs Ready in New Jersey". The New York Times. December 16, 1952. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  13. ^ Map of New Jersey (Map). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1970.
  14. ^ Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia (Map). Cartography by General Drafting. Exxon. 1976.
  15. ^ a b Map of Cape May County New Jersey (Map). Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders. 1955. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  16. ^ a b Atlantic County New Jersey (Map). Cartography by New Jersey State Highway Department. Atlantic County, New Jersey. 1967. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  17. ^ "397". ROUTE NO. ----. Beginning at or in the vicinity of the westerly abutment line of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge over Risley Channel in Atlantic county and thence proceeding toward Somers Point in said county and being presently designated as Atlantic County Route No. 20. New Jersey State Legislature. 1968.
  18. ^ State of New Jersey, Laws of 1971, Chapter 23, Section 1.
  19. ^ a b Cape May County (PDF) (Map). NJDOT. 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  20. ^ Atlantic County (PDF) (Map). NJDOT. 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  21. ^ Franklin, Chris (September 16, 2018). "Bridge between 2 Jersey Shore towns will close Monday". NJ.com. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  22. ^ Jackson, Vincent (April 9, 2019). "Cape May County says Townsends Inlet Bridge won't open till late summer". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  23. ^ Kramer, Andrew (July 25, 2019). "Townsends Inlet Bridge is now reopened". Philadelphia, PA: KYW-AM. Retrieved July 31, 2019.

External links