Kudos to the New Jersey Department Of Transportation for working with local residents to rethink the proposed signage of the new Highlands Sea Bright Bridge. Instead of using four overhead cantilever structures, three of the proposed structures will be removed. The signs will alternatively be mounted on posts and reduced in size. The fourth cantilever structure will remain in its proposed state.
In January 2010, citizens became alarmed when the DOT rolled out their signage plan that showcased the cantilever format. After residents voiced their concerns to Councilman, Chris Francy and Borough Administrator, Bruce Hilling during one of the town’s bi-weekly bridge meetings, the Borough Council and Mayor Anna Little swiftly passed Resolution 10-25 opposing the cantilever structures on January 20, 2010. The Sea Bright Town Council followed in support on February 2nd.
Senator Sean Kean, Mayor Little and Councilman Francy worked closely with the DOT’s newly appointed Commissioner, Jim Simpson and his team to design signage that is more appropriate in scale and aesthetics for the area.
Highlands Borough Council approved the new DOT signage plan on April 7th during their regularly scheduled Council meeting.
“This has been a terrific example of the system working. Community leaders listened and worked with their constituency. Bipartisan teamwork came through. One has an image of an institution like the DOT being rigid and unresponsive. It was very impressive to see how Commissioner Simpson and his team took the time to listen to the public and work with a small community. This seems like a fresh start for the DOT.” said one Highlands resident.