Part 1; the history of New Jersey Route 72
What was to become New Jersey Route 72 entered the State Highway System as New Jersey Highway S40 during 1927. New Jersey Highway S40 as originally plotted began at New Jersey Highway 40 at Four Mile of Woodland Township and terminated at US Route 9 at Manahawkin. New Jersey Highway S40 was intended to be a spur of New Jersey Highway 40 and can be seen on a map of the State Highways defined by 1927 New Jersey Legislative Chapter 319.
During the 1960s a freeway extension of New Jersey Route 72 was proposed. The New Jersey Route 72 freeway was proposed to begin at Four Mile and intersect the New Jersey Turnpike in Westampton. From Westampton, New Jersey Route 72 was proposed to connect with planned Interstate 895 which would provide access to Pennsylvania. Existing New Jersey Route 72 east of Four Mile was proposed to be upgraded to a four-lane expressway. The proposed New Jersey Route 72 freeway along with Interstate 895 were cancelled during the 1980s.
As New Jersey Route 72 eastbound beings Manahawkin is listed as 22 miles away whereas Long Beach Island is listed as 28 miles.