Ocean Drive (New Jersey)
|Maintained by NJDOT, Cape May and Atlantic counties, Egg Harbor Township, Ventnor City, Atlantic City, and Cape May County Bridge Commission|
|Length:||50.08 mi (80.60 km)|
|South end:||Dead end in Cape May Point|
| Route 109 in Lower Township.
Route 47 in Wildwood
Route 147 in North Wildwood
Route 152 in Longport
CR 563 in Margate City
US 40 / US 322 in Atlantic City
|North end:||Maine Avenue in Atlantic City|
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.
Cape May Point to Strathmere
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 (NJ 109), and continues north again.
It crosses the Cape May Canal into Lower Township and makes a right turn onto County Route 621. It then crosses over the Middle Thorofare Bridge (toll southbound) and continues north into Wildwood Crest. Ocean Drive follows CR 621 through the length of The Wildwoods, passing through Wildwood Crest, Wildwood (where it intersects New Jersey Route 47), and finally continuing into North Wildwood. In North Wildwood, CR 621 ends and Ocean Drive follows New Jersey Route 147 into Middle Township.
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 Corson's Inlet Bridge (toll northbound) into Ocean City.
Ocean City to Atlantic City
Ocean Drive continues to follow CR 619 north through Ocean City before meeting County Route 623. It then follows CR 623 for several blocks to the northwest on 34th Street before following County Route 656 (Bay Avenue) through downtown Ocean City, where it crosses 9th Street, which provides access to New Jersey Route 52. Ocean Drive then crosses the Ocean City-Longport Bridge (toll southbound) over the Great Egg Harbor Bay into Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County.
Upon entering Atlantic County, Ocean Drive follows the northern approach of the Ocean City-Longport Bridge to New Jersey Route 152. It then makes a right turn on NJ 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.
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 2005.
The five toll bridges currently charge $1.50 for cars. In addition, a pack of 50 tickets may be purchased for $60, with one ticket charged at each toll plaza. 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. E-ZPass is not currently accepted at the toll plazas along Ocean Drive; however, 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. E-ZPass will first be implemented at the Ocean City-Longport Bridge in October 2017 and added to the other bridges every three to four weeks until all five bridges have E-ZPass in place by January 2018.
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.
Along its route, the Ocean Drive followed mostly local roads. 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. 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. 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. 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. CR 585 was later removed from Ocean Drive and the remaining county routes in Cape May and Atlantic County 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. In Atlantic County, CR 29 became CR 629. 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.
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 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.
|Cape May||Lower Township||0.00||0.00||Dead end||Western terminus of CR 606, southern terminus of Ocean Drive|
|0.37||0.60||CR 651 south (Cape Avenue)||Branch of Ocean Drive follows CR 651 0.73 mi (1.17 km) into Cape May Point|
|0.44||0.71||CR 629 south (Lighthouse Avenue)|
|West Cape May||1.52||2.45||CR 607 north (Bayshore Road)|
|2.19||3.52|| 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 May||2.41||3.88||CR 627 west (Mt. Vernon Avenue)|
|2.50||4.02|| 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|
|3.66||5.89||CR 653 north (Madison Avenue)|
|4.22||6.79|| 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|
|4.86||7.82||CR 640 east (Delaware Avenue)|
|5.25||8.45|| 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 Township||5.69||9.16|| 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|
|Middle Thorofare||Middle Thorofare Bridge (toll southbound)|
|Lower Township||CR 630 north (Fish Dock Road)|
|Wildwood||10.99||17.69||Route 47 / CR 661 (Rio Grande Boulevard)|
|11.94||19.22||CR 614 north (Magnolia Avenue)|
|North Wildwood||13.48||21.69|| 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 Township||14.82||23.85|| 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 Sound||Grassy Sound Bridge (toll northbound)|
|Stone Harbor||18.25||29.37||CR 657 north (96th Street)|
|Avalon||21.76||35.02||CR 601 (Avalon Boulevard / 30th Street) to G.S. Parkway|
|Townsends Inlet||Townsends Inlet Bridge (toll southbound)|
|Sea Isle City||26.41||42.50||CR 625 west (JFK Boulevard)|
|Upper Township||30.03||48.33||CR 636 east (Commonwealth Avenue)|
|Corson Inlet||Corsons Inlet Bridge (toll northbound)|
CR 619 Spur south (55th Street)
|34.70||55.84|| 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|
|34.88||56.13|| CR 623 west (Roosevelt Boulevard) to G.S. Parkway
CR 656 begins
|Southern terminus of CR 656, north end of CR 623 overlap, south end of CR 656 overlap|
|37.58||60.48||To Route 52 / G.S. Parkway / 9th Street|
|39.80||64.05||CR 656 ends||North end of CR 656 overlap|
|Great Egg Harbor Bay||39.80||64.05||Ocean City-Longport Bridge (toll southbound)|
|Atlantic||Longport||41.01||66.00||Route 152 west to G.S. Parkway – Somers Point||South end of Route 152 overlap|
|41.91||67.45|| 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 City||43.65||70.25||CR 563 north (Jerome Avenue) to G.S. Parkway|
|Ventnor City||45.30||72.90||CR 629 north (Dorset Avenue)||North end of CR 629 overlap|
|Atlantic City||46.72||75.19||US 40 west / US 322 west (Albany Avenue)||Eastern termini of US 40 and US 322|
|46.93||75.53||Atlantic Avenue||North end of Ventnor Avenue overlap, south end of Atlantic Avenue overlap|
|To A.C. Expressway / G.S. Parkway / Arkansas Avenue / Christopher Columbus Boulevard – Philadelphia, Camden|
|49.35||79.42||Maine Avenue||Northern terminus of Ocean Drive and Atlantic Avenue|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "Cape May County straight line diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
- "Atlantic County straight line diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
- Map of the Ocean Drive: Atlantic City – Cape May, New Jersey (Map). Rand McNally. 1964.
- Google (January 15, 2011). "overview of Ocean Drive" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
- "Bridge History". Cape May County Bridge Commission. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- "Toll Schedule". Cape May County Bridge Commission. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- "E-Z Pass Coming to County Toll Bridges". The Cape May County Herald. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
- Wittkowski, Donald (July 24, 2017). "Cape May County Bridge Commission Adding E-ZPass on Five Spans". Sea Isle News. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- "1953 renumbering". New Jersey Department of Highways. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
- "New Road Signs Ready in New Jersey". The New York Times. December 16, 1952. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- Map of New Jersey (Map). Cartography by General Drafting. Esso. 1970.
- Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia (Map). Cartography by General Drafting. Exxon. 1976.
- Map of Cape May County New Jersey (Map). Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders. 1955. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
- Atlantic County New Jersey (Map). Cartography by New Jersey State Highway Department. Atlantic County, New Jersey. 1967. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
- "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.
- State of New Jersey, Laws of 1971, Chapter 23, Section 1.
- Cape May County (PDF) (Map). NJDOT. 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
- Atlantic County (PDF) (Map). NJDOT. 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
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