Local residents have all seen the Seven Bridges Road sign that says Not all have obeyed, though, as motorists have been whizzing past the sign and cutting over Little Silver Point Road just to avoid the detour.
Police say that's going to have to change next week once school is in session. Beginning the morning of Sept. 6, traffic coming over the bridge from Oceanport will be directed to Silverside Avenue from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m. and from 2:45 to 3 p.m. On school days the only cars getting past that sign will be those heading to their homes in that neighborhood or parents ferrying children to .
If you're driving:
In addition, police will be closing off the southbound lane on Prospect Avenue (that's the portion that runs from Willow Drive into Little Silver Point Road).
Little Silver Police Chief Dan Shaffery told Patch that school traffic north of the detour can take Willow Drive to Little Silver Point Road.
"This will allow parents to drop off their students at Point Road School and if they have students going to they can continue on Little Silver Point Road and make a right turn onto Prospect Avenue (northbound lane will be open) to Markham Place. It will also significantly cut down the volume of traffic we are currently experiencing on LS Point Road during these times," Shaffery said in an email.
Little Silver Superintendent of Schools Carolyn Kossack told Patch that a letter has gone home to parents to inform them of the new traffic pattern and that police were on hand to inform parents at the recent new student orientation.
Shaffery said that parents dropping off at school will be able to use the side parking lot on Seven Bridges Road to enter the school and then exit onto Point Road and, if needed, make a right onto Prospect Avenue to get to Markham Place in time for middle school's start time.
Kossack said parents driving kids to school from north of the bridge under construction should park on Holly Tree Lane. On the Point Road side parents are asked to park on Lippincott Road.
If you're walking:
Bridge construction has gotten off to a slow start, in part because a modular piece was brought in to serve as a pedestrian walkway and as a support for a temporary water main, which were a change to the original plan.
A contractor at the site told Patch that the pedestrian walk-through was supposed to have been finished by the start of school, but will likely take about two more weeks. Police have told the county that pedestrian access must be maintained at all times on the bridge and so a portion of the old bridge remains as a pedestrian-only walkway.
Children who live in the neighborhood north of the bridge can continue to walk to school, out of the way of construction.
Shaffery said his department "will continue to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of this plan and make adjustments as necessary."
He said the detour has created headaches for residents all over town and that the county's slow construction pace isn't sitting well with him.
"Grass grows faster," he said of the work on the project, adding that he and his department are anticipating that the new rules will significantly cut down on the volume of traffic on Little Silver Point Road when children are present.
"We're trying to accommodate everyone, but the children are more important," he said.