Ocean County Freeholders To Fund Road Improvements

(Photo courtesy Ocean County)

OCEAN COUNTY – Some Ocean County infrastructure is up for repairs and improvements.

County Freeholders agreed to fund $6.5 million worth of repairs and rehab for roads, bridges and other projects throughout the county.

Donna Flynn, the county’s director of public information, said that the county has more than 1,600 county-lane miles to maintain; that includes nearly 260 bridges and culverts.

“With long term planning we always take a close look at our roads and our infrastructure and set priorities in order to improve our road network all while staying within our budget,” Freeholder John P. Kelly said. “All of the projects to be funded in 2018 have been closely reviewed and are determined to be necessary improvements and safety projects.”

The projects will also include drainage improvements and some reconstruction and resurfacing.

“We have the largest road network of any County in the state,” freeholder director Gerry P. Little said. He is liaison to the county’s road department. “It’s important those roads are well maintained for our motorists and our visitors.”

Flynn said Hooper Avenue, home to many shopping centers in the county, will see a redesigned traffic signal near what she called “two popular shopping centers.” Freeholders Joseph Vicari and Virginia Haines requested that work.

“I am pleased that we are moving ahead with these plans,” Vicari said. “When this work is complete it will bring much needed relief to motorists accessing these plazas.”

The public information office said the changes will take place on Hooper Avenue south of Indian Hill Road, and will allow for left-hand turns near Target, eliminating the need for a U-turn.

“This change will provide full access to Hooper Avenue,” Vicari said. “The current traffic signals provide limited access to Hooper Avenue.

“The new traffic signal configuration will help motorists access both north and southbound Hooper Avenue and also will allow for the crossing of Hooper Avenue to the other shopping center,” Vicari said. “This is good for motorists and good for business.”

While Hooper Avenue is a busy road along its entire stretch, this particular section is a heavily traveled corridor, Kelly said.

“We believe this modification will have a positive outcome with traffic safety and accessibility,” Kelly said.

Cross Street in Lakewood will be expanded to three lanes from Route 9 to Route 528 and includes intersection improvements. Kelly said this project is part of the recommendations of the countywide transportation model update started in 2017.

“The transportation model update is an important tool to help us with future planning when it comes to the county road network,” Kelly said. “The update to the transportation model we looked at the northern municipalities to reflect new growth patterns. “The update will be used by the county as part of our long-term capital improvement program.”

Mayetta Bridge and Morris Boulevard Bridge in Stafford, Ridgeway Boulevard Bridge in Manchester, Grawtown Bridge in Jackson, and Zebbs Bridge in Berkeley will also see repairs and improvements.

“It’s important to take a proactive approach to maintaining our bridges,” Kelly said. “We want to repair or replace them before they become a hazard to our motorists and pedestrians. “The safety of our motorists and our pedestrians is a priority in Ocean County.”

Other projects slated for funding include: East Branch culvert Route 539 in Barnegat; Ridgway Boulevard drainage replacement in Manchester; widening of Chambers Bridge Road at the Garden State Parkway in Brick; and Massachusetts Avenue and Prospect Street intersection improvements in Lakewood.

The county also plans on performing stormwater drainage work on 21 county roads.