By David Madden

Road work began Monday on one of the more popular routes to the Jersey shore — and it’s expected to continue over the next year or so. But state officials promise not to wreck your summer weekends.

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Many drivers hop on Route 55 as a quicker way to get to Ocean City, Sea Isle and the Wildwoods, depending on the back roads you can access from the freeway. Plans are to do what amounts to preventive maintenance on 55 different bridges — starting in Cumberland County’s Maurice River Township and working north. Transportation Department spokesman Joe Dee promises no more than two spans at a time will be worked on.

“There’s a whole series of bridges in Cumberland and Gloucester Counties where we’re going to be doing basic repair. These bridges are in fairly good shape and the idea is to keep them in good shape,” Dee says. “We’ll go through and make those small repairs that keep the bridge in good condition and prevent further deterioration that might require a major repair.”

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The project will cost just shy of $4 million.

Plans are to do the work middays and at night. Nothing in rush hour and absolutely no work on the weekends when people are headed down the shore. Just be warned if you plan to take a day trip during a week off from work, though.

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