By Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
I hope everyone is having a great summer! I cannot believe we’re just a few weeks away from Labor Day!
The Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering has been extremely busy this summer working on numerous projects throughout the County. As liaison to this department, I am happy to report on the status of several of these projects.
At our August 7th Freeholder Meeting, the Board awarded a $9.2 million contract to Hall Building Corp. to complete interior renovations to the Seaview Building, a former commercial building the County owns next to the Seaview Square Mall. This $9.2 million award is a $2.3 million savings to the County and 22% less than we anticipated.
These renovations to the Seaview Building will allow for better utilization of this existing County-owned building in Ocean Township. As you may be aware, relocating County offices into County owned buildings—as opposed to holding leases–is an undertaking that I, along with my fellow Freeholders have strongly supported.
Upon completion of the renovations, the Juvenile Probation and Child Support operations, currently housed in the leased Freehold Borough Mechanic Street Facility, will be relocated to the Seaview Square Building. The Seaview Building already houses Adult Probation and the County’s Department of Social Services. This move will allow the county to expand these services by housing the related departments together. The county is expected to save roughly $500,000 a year by eliminating the lease at Mechanic Street.
This project is being completed with a project labor agreement. As such, Monmouth County will negotiate with the Monmouth-Ocean County Building and Construction Trade Council on union rules for the project. This will ensure that local union members work on the project, putting local residents to work.
Additionally, we approved a joint Monmouth County-Freehold Township project to improve a nearly mile long section of Three Brooks Road and replace one County Bridge and two culverts.
We are happy to partner with Freehold Township, as we are with all our municipalities, to improve transportation infrastructure under joint jurisdictions.
Lastly, I am pleased to announce that construction of a long-awaited improvement project at the intersection of CR 537 (East Main Street) and Jackson Street / Jackson Terrace in the Borough of Freehold is substantially complete.
The improvements include an installation of a new, state-of-the-art traffic signal with provisions for pedestrians, curbing and sidewalks, storm drains, ADA compliant curb ramps, and installation of solar powered flashing trail beacons at the Henry Hudson Trail crossing.
In addition, as part of this improvement project, the push button activated flashing beacons will be installed in a few weeks at the crossing for the Henry Hudson Trail located just east of the intersection. These flashing bacons will draw the drivers’ attention to the crossing as well as the walkers and bikers utilizing the Henry Hudson Trail.
The constructed improvements at this intersection and at the Henry Hudson Trail crossing will enhance safety to the traveling public and improve traffic flow through the intersection.
I want to commend the Public Works and Engineering Department for working diligently to advance various infrastructure improvement projects to keep our roads, bridges and buildings in a state of good repair.
As always, it is an honor to serve as your Freeholder Director.