Summer is in full swing and I hope everyone is out there enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve been having. An annual tradition here in Monmouth County is the County Fair. The 41st Monmouth County Fair was a huge success with thousands of residents attending over the five days it was held at the East Freehold Fairgrounds on Kozloski Road.
Monmouth County is the gateway to the Jersey Shore, and you will find more than 50 miles of beaches, revolutionary history sites, nationally recognized parks and golf courses, outdoor dining experiences for all tastes and plenty of places to spend the night. The Monmouth Park System offers over 30 park areas to explore, please go out and enjoy all our beautiful county has to offer.
While we are on the topic of outdoor activities you can enjoy throughout our County, I would like to take a moment to address several concerns within different regions, including the Shark River dredging and the two-river area bike path.
Setting the record straight on proposed Two Rivers bike lanes
By Tom Arnone, Monmouth County Freeholder
Freeholder Tom Arone
Now that summer is here, the kids are out of school and the beaches are open. We know a few things are certain while living in our beautiful Monmouth County – sand will find its way into the house, barbeques will be plentiful and many of us will give in to ice cream cravings on the boardwalk. As residents we will also witness a significant increase to our population as our tourism season gets into full swing. With this population surge, we will also see an increase in cyclists and pedestrians sharing the roads with motorists throughout the county.
I urge you to be aware of the statewide “rules of the road” and other specific rules in your municipality for whatever mode of transportation you choose. This is especially important when traveling on primary and secondary roads that are highly used, like those without designated bike lanes or sidewalks. It is extremely important for all of us to be diligent when sharing roads so they are safe for all users– pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists – as safe travel for all is of the utmost importance.
Right on schedule, the Oceanic Bridge opened to traffic between Rumson and Middletown this morning.
Working around the clock, in 12-hour shifts, Harms Construction Co. Inc. of Howell has performed repair and restoration work on all four of the bridge’s main bearings that are used to support the bascule and flanking spans on the bridge approaches.
The bridge was closed on May 26 due to the needed repairs that were discovered during an overhaul that was to have been completed in April. The construction of the emergency repairs was scheduled to allow the bridge to open during the last two weekends.
“We appreciate the patience of the local residents, business owners and visitors while we conducted this necessary repair,” said Freeholder Tom Arnone who “The Oceanic Bridge is an important connector in the Two River area. We need to keep the bridge open and operational as we plan for its eventual replacement.”
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual–or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. ” – Samuel Adams
By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone
Freeholder Tom Arone
The primary election is over and I want to extend my sincerest congratulations to all the candidates that won. Now as you prepare for November, I look forward to seeing positive campaigning over the next couple of months – let’s keep the focus on the issues concerning our constituents.
Voter turnout in Monmouth County was 2.9%, based on the number of eligible voters in the county. We need to improve this number! Your vote is your voice as an American citizen – you need to show up at the polls to have that voice heard. If you are unhappy with how things are being run in your municipality, our county and throughout the state of New Jersey, it is your duty to make a difference by voting. Our right to vote in the United States is a privilege that was granted to us hundreds of years ago by the founders of our great country. If we do not exercise our civic duty to vote, then we fail to create a government that epitomizes the voice of the people, and therefore we will not have representatives that reflect our opinions. So each vote is important, each vote counts.
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone, and Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop offered the following statement Monday to update residents on the progress being made in the effort to dredge Shark River state navigation channels:
“This project is closer to reality than ever before. This is a result of years of work coordinating with the many agencies that have authority over this project. This project focuses on what we can do, dredge the state navigation channels of the river” Arnone explained, a former Neptune City Mayor. “A project like this has to have full cooperation from the federal, state, county, and municipal governments. It has been a long process, but one that is moving forward”.
There are two permits necessary to move forward with the project: one from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the second from the US Army Corps of Engineers. NJ DOT has submitted applications for both permits. The State hopes to bid this project in time for a late-summer project award. If a responsive bid is received, and the selected contractor chooses, dredging could potentially begin later this year. The contractor may be given the option to conduct the work over two dredging seasons if necessary.
It’s “unofficially” here and personally, I could not be happier – the boots are replaced with flip flops, t-shirts to wear instead of parkas, and the big snow shovels have been stored and replaced with sand shovels!
This past weekend we celebrated Memorial Day, the unofficial kick-off to summer. I hope that while you were celebrating and barbequing with family and friends, you took a moment to reflect on the true reason for this holiday – those soldiers who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. On Memorial Day, we remember those that came before us and fought for the freedoms and protection we enjoy each and every day. Thank you to all those who served in the past, those that protect us in the present and those who will continue the legacy in the future.
The Oceanic Bridge (S-31), the span that connects Rumson and Middletown over the Navesink River, will close for repairs at 6:00 am on Tuesday morning May 26 and remain closed until the estimated completion date of June 12, according to Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone, liason to the Department of Public Works and Engineering.
The current repair project of the bridge was stated on February 9th and was scheduled to be completed by April 15th. However, in late April, Arnone announced that while work was being done it was discovered that two of the bridge’s four main bearings need to be repaired. The bearings are part of the mechanism that supports the bascule and flanking spans on the bridge approaches. The bearings were inaccessible at the beginning of the project.
The Monmouth County bridge that crosses Havens Bridge Road in Howell Township collapsed on Saturday, May 9. The bridge had been closed for weeks prior to the failure due to damage discovered during an inspection by employees of the County Public Works and Engineering Department.
News of the collapse was first reported on the Our Howell NJ facebook community page.
“Thank God we closed the bridge before this happened and no one got hurt,” said Freeholder Tom Arnone, liaison to the Public Works Department, when confirming the collapse.
Want to make a difference in your community? Shop local! Keep the money within our own community. It’s a proven fact that independent and locally-owned businesses recirculate more revenue locally compared to absentee-owned businesses. In other words, going local creates more local wealth and jobs. The spending done by a business locally to operate, including inventory, utilities, equipment and pay to employees directly impacts the economy within its community. In addition, the indirect impact happens as dollars the local business spent at other area businesses re-circulate and the additional consumer spending that happens as employees, business owners and others spend their income in the local economy.
Not convinced? How about helping the environment? In addition to the economic impact, there is also a positive impact on the environment that occurs when shopping locally. When you choose to buy from local or independent makers, you are cutting down on processing, packaging and transportation waste.
Our 4th annual Made in Monmouth event was recently held to help support local business as well. Made in Monmouth was created by the Grow Monmouth Team within the County’s Division of Economic Development in 2012, to help small Monmouth County businesses expand their customer base and find new partnerships. In addition to the annual event held at Monmouth University, Made in Monmouth expanded last year and was a part of the Monmouth County Fair in July and held two “Mini Made in Monmouth” events in Manalapan and Cream Ridge last December.
The work being done on the Oceanic Bridge between Middletown and Rumson this month has revealed the need for additional significant repairs. After meeting with local officials, business and educational leaders last week, Monmouth County officials determined that the best course of action would be to close the bridge around the clock for three weeks immediately following the Memorial Day weekend.
The Oceanic Bridge will be closed to all but marine traffic from Tuesday, May 26 through Friday, June 12. For marine traffic, seasonal rules and scheduling will be in effect.
“The County’s current Oceanic Bridge repair project has revealed deterioration in two areas not readily or previously accessible,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering.
Two of the bridge’s four main bearings need to be repaired. The bearings are part of the mechanism that supports the bascule and flanking spans on the bridge approaches.