By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Probably the last thing you’re thinking about right now is that trip down the shore next summer. But when you do, take this into account: A major expansion of the westbound Atlantic City Expressway should be complete, sort of, sometime in July.

The three phase project to add a third lane from the Garden State Parkway to route 73, a total of 25 miles, is now in the middle of phase two. That’s a seven mile stretch west from the Egg Harbor toll plaza.

“The construction is now at the Farley Service Plaza and basically it’s on schedule for completion summer of 2012,” says Sharon Gordon with the South Jersey Transportation Authority.

When the barriers do come down, the third lane will be in place to mile marker 24.5. Yes, that’s a good seven miles before you get to 73.

That’s where phase three begins, and they haven’t scheduled a start for that part of the project. But when it’s all done, it’s thought a lot of the traditional end of the weekend backups on the expressway will be history.

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