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Nov 02, 2017

Officials Break Ground on Critical Intersection Improvement Project

The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders were joined on October 13 by State Senator Jennifer Beck, Congressman Chris Smith, and local municipal and business representatives for the groundbreaking of the long-awaited state Route 34 and County Road 537 Intersection Improvements Project in Colts Neck. The work will significantly improve the worst peak-hour performing intersection in all of Monmouth County. The New Jersey Department of Transportation has partnered with the county on the effort, due to the impacts to State Route 34.

Explained Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, “For years, business owners, residents, and travelers alike have suffered with the long wait times and hazardous driving conditions and this work will dramatically change how people travel in and around the heart of Colts Neck. As a resident of the township myself, I am personally gratified to see us reaching this significant milestone and I applaud our County Public Works and Engineering department and our partners on the state level for their tireless efforts to make this project a reality.”

“I’m happy to see this important project finally come to fruition,” said State Senator Jennifer Beck, who represents Colts Neck. “I applaud Freeholder Director Burry and all of our freeholders and local officials for moving the ball forward more than a decade ago; I’m proud to have been part of that effort. These improvements will greatly enhance pedestrian safety and traffic calming for Colts Neck.”

The $17.5 million construction project is nearly entirely funded by federal dollars. The county’s share is approximately $172,000 for items such as police officers to help manage traffic for the duration of the approximately 27-month time frame; however, state Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) monies are expected to cover those costs.

The initiative was advanced due to the deteriorating efficiency at the intersection. Specifically, the work will improve existing safety and operations at the location and reduce delays during peak hours by creating additional capacity at the traffic signal along both Route 34 and County Road 537. The goal is to mitigate the numbers of drivers attempting to avoid the intersection by using alternate local roads. Route 34 is a major access point for Route 18, which lies south of the intersection, for the residents of Colts Neck and nearby communities. Approximately 20,000 vehicles per day traverse Route 24, while County Road 537 sees another 17,000. These traffic counts result in substantial delays during peak hours on both roadways.

“Freeholder Burry and Senator Beck have a great deal to be proud of today,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the County’s Public Works and Engineering Department. “These dedicated public servants have been fiercely committed to making sure this project gets done, and I for one am proud to stand with them today in support of this work. We have an exceptional team at the County Public Works and Engineering Department and expert contractors and designers on board and I look forward to being back here in the near future for the ribbon cutting on a brand new and greatly-improved intersection.”

In addition to the upgraded signals and added capacity at the intersection, two bridge structures adjacent to the location, which carry traffic over Mine Brook, will be reconstructed. Bio-retention basins in the northeast and northwest quadrants will also be incorporated in the scope of work. Greenman Pedersen Incorporated of Lebanon, NJ is the project designer and the construction resident engineering firm is T&M Associates of Middletown, NJ. The construction work was awarded to Rencor, Inc. of Somerville, NJ. The anticipated completion date is December of 2019.