It’s been a long winter, but we are rounding the corner and spring is in our site. The weather this week is finally giving us the big thaw that we need to get out from under these huge snow piles.

As the snow melts, and after weeks of plowing and salting County roads, Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering crews have transitioned over to the next phase of operation: pothole repair on County Roads. Residents can report a pothole on a County road by calling the Monmouth County Highway Division of the Department of Public Works and Engineering at 732-431-6550.  If you come across a pothole on a State highway, you should report it to the NJ DOT. Potholes on local roads should be reported to the appropriate local municipality. Please do not use 911 to report a pothole, as the 911 service needs to be used for emergencies.

As repairs to our roads begins, the on-going repairs to our bridges throughout the county continues at a rapid pace. As repairs move forward, we are in constant contact with the municipalities about progress and any concerns that may arise during the necessary construction, and possible bridge closures. To that point, I met with Rumson business owners and local officials along with Senator Joe Kyrillos Jr. recently to discuss the current repair work to the structural steel and concrete deck to the Oceanic Bridge (S-31) over the Navesink River.  We understand the need to keep the bridge open to traffic and to support the local business community, and hearing directly from the restaurants and the businesses and letting them know of the facts related to this project is important as well. As a result of discussions the contactor, George Harms Construction Co., Inc. of Howell, has agreed to keep traffic open to traffic on Friday evenings whenever possible, as the construction schedule must stay on time to complete the required work. Please visit our county website for full schedule details.

In addition, and in a continued effort to keep lines of communication open between the County and its municipalities, we recently met with a newly formed group from Asbury Park, the Sunset Avenue Bridge Traffic Safety Liaison Committee, along with our county engineer, Mayor Moor, Assemblymwoman Angelini and a representative from Senator Beck’s office. We discussed the group’s concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety as vehicles are rerouted as a result the Sunset Avenue Bridge closure. In a similar fashion a group convened in Red Bank to discuss similar concerns about pedestrian safety as traffic continues to grow in the booming town. The attendees included myself, several members of the Two River Times Staff, including the editor and newspaper owner, as well as the Mayor Menna, Senator Beck, the police chief of Red Bank, our county engineer, and Tim Hogan, Regional Hospital President of Meridian Health.

We continue to make progress in the area of shared services in an effort to save our municipalities money whether it be seasonal services such as plowing our roads and raking our local beaches, or ongoing such as dispatch services.

One of the exciting aspects of my role as County Freeholder is interacting with our children, whether it be speaking to them about government or participating in a school activity. I was fortunate enough to recently participate in Read across America at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School and visited with seventh graders at Manasquan Elementary School to discuss politics in New Jersey. I would like to end with a very big congratulations to the Middletown North hockey team on winning states and Tyree Sutton from Keansburg High School on winning the state title in wrestling. I would like to end with a very big congratulations to the Middletown North and Christian Brother’s Academy hockey teams on winning states

Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone