New Jersey Route 166

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Route 166

Map of Route 166, which is highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NJDOT
Length3.73 mi[1] (6.00 km)
NHSRoute 37 to northern terminus[1][2]
Major junctions
South end US 9 in Beachwood
Major intersections Route 37 in Toms River
North end US 9 / G.S. Parkway Toms River
CountryUnited States
StateNew Jersey
Highway system
Route 165 Route 167

Route 166 is a short, 3.73-mile (6.00 km) state highway in Ocean County, New Jersey. The route provides an alternate alignment of U.S. Route 9 through South Toms River and Toms River. The southern terminus is at an intersection with U.S. Route 9 northbound in Beachwood, where it heads northward along Atlantic City Boulevard. The route continues until ending where U.S. Route 9 leaves the Parkway north of Toms River. US 9 itself uses the Garden State Parkway to bypass Toms River.

Route 166 is a former alignment of New Jersey Route 4, designated in 1920 and U.S. Route 9, designated in 1927 through Toms River. The highways were realigned when the Garden State Parkway was built, and the original alignment became U.S. Route 9 Alternate in the 1950s, which was eventually replaced with Route 166. The alignment has remained the same since.

Route description

View north along Route 166 at Washington Street in downtown Toms River

Route 166 begins at an interchange with U.S. Route 9 northbound (Atlantic City Boulevard) in the community of Beachwood River. The route heads northward along the right-of-way of Atlantic City Boulevard, progressing northward along residential homes. Paralleling to the north of U.S. Route 9, Route 166 continues, passing a war memorial in the southern portion of the business district. Before passing into South Toms River, the highway intersects with Ocean County Route 621 (Admiral Avenue). There, Route 166 turns to the northeast, running along the shoreline of the Toms River. Heading past a marina, the highway crosses on a four-lane bridge over the river and into the Township of Toms River.[3]

As the highway crosses this border, it splits into a one-way pair. Northbound, the route curves to the northeast, becoming part of Main Street and passing Huddy Park; southbound, the route follows County Route 527 west, Iron Street south, and Herflicker Boulevard to rejoin Atlantic City Boulevard.[5] At the end of the pair, the route continues northward into downtown Toms River, travelling along commercial buildings as Main Street, passing to the west of Toms River High School South and back into the residential districts. Route 166 continues northbound to an intersection with New Jersey Route 37 in Toms River. At the intersection, Route 166 switches names from Main Street to Lakewood Road, which heads northwestward.[3]

Route 166 southbound at US 9 and the Garden State Parkway

Route 166, after changing monikers, continues northwestward through the commercial and industrial portions of Toms River, intersecting with several local and county roads until a fork with Ocean County Route 623, where the highway forks at Riverside Cemetery. A short distance later, the highway begins a split parallel with the Garden State Parkway and U.S. Route 9 to the east. Route 166 then leaves the commercial and industrial districts for the residential ones soon later, crossing through several developments including Colonial Gardens. The highway continues northward, intersecting with Albert Avenue, where it returns to the commercial area. After an intersection with Briar Knoll, Route 166 divides, approaching Interchange 83 on the Garden State Parkway, where the designation terminates. The right-of-way continues northward as U.S. Route 9.[3]

Route 166 is part of the National Highway System north of Route 37 in Toms River.[1][2]


View southbound along Route 166 from the Garden State Parkway in Toms River

The alignment of Route 166 was originally part of Route 4 prior to 1927, designated from Absecon to Rahway.[6] This designation remained in place for seven years, until the 1927 New Jersey state highway renumbering, which remained part of an extended Route 4.[7] A year prior to the state highway renumbering, the alignment of Route 4 was also co-designated as part of U.S. Route 9, which had been assigned as part of a nationwide system.[8] Route 4 remained intact concurrent with Route 9 until the state highway renumbering on January 1, 1953. On that day, Route 4 was truncated back to Fort Lee in Bergen County, and the alignment became only U.S. Route 9.[9] A bypass was built of the Route 9 alignment in the 1950s along with construction of the Garden State Parkway, which was completed soon after. The route currently Route 166 became U.S. Route 9 Alternate by 1954, remaining for several years, when it was decommissioned in place for Route 166.[10] The route moniker has remained intact since.[11]

As far back as 1985, plans to create a second bridge over the Toms River were put forward to ease congestion on the existing bridge. This plan would have also designated a local bypass around the downtown of Toms River by using Highland Parkway, Lakehurst Road, Water Street, Adafre Avenue, and Herflicker Boulevard.[12] However, environmental regulations prevented work on the bridge from beginning until the 2000s, and the new bridge was completed and incorporated into Route 166 in 2006; by this point, the alternate route was reduced to a one-block diversion from the original Route 166.[13]

Major intersections

The entire route is in Ocean County.

South Toms River0.000.00 US 9 (Atlantic City Boulevard) – Bayville, Atlantic CitySouthern terminus
CR 530 west (Main Street)
Toms River1.151.85

CR 527 north / CR 549 north (Water Street)
1.973.17 Route 37 – Lakehurst, Seaside Heights
3.736.00 US 9 (Lakewood Road) / G.S. ParkwayExit 83 (GSP/US 9); northern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c d New Jersey Department of Transportation. "Route 166 straight line diagram" (PDF). Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  2. ^ a b National Highway System: New Jersey (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. September 30, 2020. Retrieved April 11, 2024.
  3. ^ a b c Overview map of New Jersey Route 166 (Map). Cartography by NAVTEQ. Bing Maps. 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  4. ^ "County Route 166Z". NJDOT. New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 20, 2023.
  5. ^ The southbound route is internally designated NJ 166Z[4]
  6. ^ State Highway Route map (Map). New Jersey Highway Department. 1925. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  7. ^ Sketch Map Showing Approximate Locations of State Highway Routes (Map). New Jersey Highway Department. 1927. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  8. ^ Bureau of Public Roads & American Association of State Highway Officials (November 11, 1926). United States System of Highways Adopted for Uniform Marking by the American Association of State Highway Officials (Map). 1:7,000,000. Washington, DC: United States Geological Survey. OCLC 32889555. Retrieved November 7, 2013 – via Wikimedia Commons.
  9. ^ 1953 renumbering, New Jersey Department of Highways, archived from the original on June 28, 2011, retrieved July 31, 2009
  10. ^ Map of US 9 Alternate (Map). General Drafting Incorporated. 1960s.
  11. ^ New Jersey Official Road Map (Map). Cartography by New Jersey Department of Transportation. New Jersey Department of Transportation. 2007.
  12. ^ Suhay, Robert (June 18, 1985). "Traffic snarl blamed on roads between towns". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved August 20, 2023.
  13. ^ Schweiger, Tristan J.; Moore, Kirk (December 13, 2006). "Drivers Welcome Toms River Bridge". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved August 20, 2023.

External links