By Mike DeNardo

HAMMONTON, N.J. (CBS) — Work is underway to make your ride home from the Jersey shore a little easier.

Construction has begun on the 18-month project to widen the westbound Atlantic City Expressway from two to three lanes in the seven-mile stretch between the Hammonton and Winslow/Route 73 exits.

South Jersey Transportation Authority spokesman Kevin Rehmann says the Authority shifted money originally earmarked for the transition to all-electronic toll collection, and started this $16-million widening work about a year earlier than expected.

“Depending on the weather, we probably won’t be ready for this summer.  It’s going to be construction much like previous ones.  But we’re hoping to open before the next year, in 2014,” Rehmann tells KYW Newsradio.

He says that when this phase is finished, the westbound side will match the eastbound side, with three lanes in each direction between Route 73 and the Garden State Parkway.

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