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Ocean Highway was a state highway in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Legislated in 1909 as Ocean Boulevard, it was New Jersey's first state highway.Amending legislation in 1910 changed the designation to Ocean Highway.[1]

This route, and the Delaware River Drive predated any highway numbering system in New Jersey, and may be considered a transition between the early auto trails and modern state highways.

It is not directly related to Ocean Drive.

Route description

The Ocean Highway was to run from Atlantic Highlands to Cape May. The 1910 Annual Report of the New Jersey Commissioner of Public Roads refers to the funding of several projects:

For the improvement of a road along the bluff at Atlantic Highlands, conditioned upon the county expending a like amount.....$10,000.00

For filling in the head of Wesley Lake and the construction of a roadway between Ocean Grove and Asbury Park.....$5,700.00

For the acquisition of land and the opening up and improvement of the road known as the extension of Ocean Avenue in the Borough of Spring Lake.....$4,300.00

For the improvement of the road between Lakewood and Tom's River.....$11,000.00

For the improvement of the road between New Gretna and the Mullica River Bridge.....$7,000.00

For the straightening, widening and improvement of the road between Chestnut Neck and Absecon.....$5,000.00

For the improvement of the Main Shore Road between Cape May Court House and Cape May, and the road between Petersburg and Seaville.....$7,000.00[2]

From the above projects, it would appear that this route would follow Ocean Boulevard through Atlantic Highlands to Navesink Avenue in Highlands. From there it would follow Ocean Avenue south through Monmouth County along the Atlantic Ocean. The Ocean Highway then crossed into Ocean County, probably via the present Route 35 and continued on to Lakewood probably via the present Route 88. It then roughly followed U.S. Route 9, Route 166, Route 167 and Route 109 to Cape May. A short spur from Seaville to Petersburg in Upper Township; this is now part of Route 50.

History

The Ocean Highway was first authorized in 1909 and was New Jersey's first state highway.[1] It was reauthorized in 1910, and it was under that legislation that any appropriations were made, and that any construction was to take place.[3]

In 1916, legislation was passed authorizing the extension of the Ocean Highway west from Atlantic Highlands to Matawan Creek,[4] but it is unlikely that this was ever acted upon, as later that year (The Egan Bill) legislation was passed establishing a system of numbered state highways that replaced the Ocean Highway with Route 4, which took a more inland route through Monmouth County and extended only as far south as Absecon.[5] The 1917 Edge Bill created Route 14, which followed the old Ocean Highway route from Seaville to Cape May, as well as the Petersburg Spur.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b P. L. 1909, Chapter 33
  2. ^ 1910 Annual report, New Jersey Commissioner of Public Roads, pg. 37
  3. ^ P. L. 1910, Chapter 220
  4. ^ P. L. 1916, Chapter 99
  5. ^ P. L. 1916, Chapter 285
  6. ^ P. L. 1917, Chapter 14
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