MANCHESTER – A dangerous split on Route 70 past Lakehurst is finally getting an upgrade.
The Ocean County Freeholders accepted the lowest bid from Black Rock Enterprises, Old Bridge, to realign Beckerville Road/Horicon Avenue, which splits off Route 70 West outside Lakehurst.
The bid came in at $346,969.90. Eight other bids were made.
Roberts Mulloy, assistant county engineer, said a 90-degree intersection would be built several hundred feet west from the existing fork, creating a safer turn. The work consists of 1,990 square yards of full road construction in that spot. They will also remove 6,895 square yards of existing roadway.
The project does not include any traffic lights at that intersection.
The project has been on the Freeholders’ radar for a couple years, Freeholder Director Gerry Little said. The project had to go through the usual permit process, first with the Department of Transportation and then through the Pinelands Commission, a time-consuming process, the freeholder said.
“We have had, for a long time, sight-line problems there, making left and right turns, and even making left and right turns from Route 70, so it’s been a problematic sight-line there,” Little said. “It will be much safer in terms of visibility and sight-lines…. We’re very excited about the project because it will improve highway safety along that Route 70 corridor a great deal.”
Beckerville Road is a county road, which of course runs along the state highway, Route 70. So although Manchester Township has no work to do in this realignment process, the news that an improvement is coming is welcome news.
Manchester Councilman Sam Fusaro said many serious accidents have occurred at that intersection. When the sun hits just right, it’s impossible to see when trying to make any turns onto Route 70 or Beckerville.
It’s a project they’ve asked the county to complete for a long time, and Fusaro said the township is pleased it’s finally happening.
Little said the project should start mid-spring.