Federal, state, county and local officials gathered in Colts Neck on Friday for the ground breaking of the long awaited improvements to the intersection of State Route 34 and County Route 537. The project is designed to ease traffic congestion at the crossroad that is traveled by 37,000 motorists daily and to reduce the use of local roads by the thousands of motorists using alternate routes.
“For nearly two decades from when I was a member of the Colts Neck Township Committee, and then Mayor and now as Freeholder, I have labored to bring this much needed project to fruition,” said 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.”
“This critical project will above all improve safety for the tens of thousands that travel theses roadways every day,” said Congressman Chris Smith. “The federal contribution, estimated to be more than $17 million, is critically important, but the hard work, day-to-day tenacity of Freeholder Burry is what makes it a reality and ensures more safety and better traffic flow in the area.
The $17.5 million project, mostly federal National Highway Performance Program funds, is expected to be completed in December of 2019. 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.
“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.”