FREEHOLD, NJ – On Thursday, June 22, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders authorized the execution of a $21.3 million agreement with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to move the plan to widen the intersection of State Route 34 at County Route 537 (Route 34/CR 537) and replace two bridges closer to the start of construction.
“This is great news for everyone who travels through the most congested intersection in the County,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry. “The County’s Federal Aid Agreement is expected to cover about 98 percent of the project’s projected $21.5 million price tag. This agreement today marks a significant milestone in the project timeline. I am elated about this development, knowing first-hand the challenges of traveling through this location and being personally involved for nearly two decades in working to make these improvements.”
“With the financing in place, the project is another step closer to addressing significant operational and safety concerns at the intersection and the conditions of the two adjacent bridges over Mine Brook,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA). “The Route 34/CR 537 project requires significant coordination of resources and we are appreciative of FHWA, NJ Department of Transportation, and NJTPA for their respective roles and support in bringing this agreement to fruition.”
Specifically, the planned Route 34/CR 537 work will include:
- Widening of Route 34 to accommodate six lanes along each intersection approach, including: an exclusive left turn lane, two through lanes, an exclusive right turn lane, and two receiving lanes
- Widening of CR 537 to accommodate five lanes along each intersection approach, including: an exclusive left turn lane, a through lane, a thorough/right turn lane, and two receiving lanes
- Replacement of the existing traffic signal, including pedestrian improvements
- Replacing the CR 537 bridge (1300-A18) that is located approximately 120 feet west of the intersection. The overall condition of the bridge, constructed in 1920, is serious due to severe spalling and concrete deterioration.
- Replacing the SR 34 bridge (1308-152) that is located approximately 400 feet north of the intersection. The overall condition of the bridge, constructed in 1930, is considered fair due to the condition of the superstructure and the substructure. However, based on the results of a visual assessment and concrete core drilling as performed during feasibility assessment, it has been recommended that this structure also be removed and replaced.
- Adhering to the NJDEP Stormwater Management Rules. A bio-retention basin is proposed for the northeast and southeast quadrants. Efforts will be made to avoid or minimize impacts to environmental resources within the project area.