West Front Street corridor in Red Bank to be made safer for pedestrians 

            FREEHOLD, NJ – Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone has received a commitment from the New Jersey Transportation and Planning Authority (NJTPA) for the added $100,000 it will take to complete the improvements to the County Route 10 Corridor in Red Bank.

            The project, which aims to make West Front Street in Red Bank safer for people traveling on bicycle or foot, particularly in the area of Riverview Medical Center, already has $500,000 in federal money dedicated for construction. However, after final plans were drawn up, the engineer’s estimate to complete the project came in at $600,000 – $100,000 over the previously budgeted amount.

            Arnone, Monmouth County’s representative on the NJTPA, spoke with NJTPA staff prior to yesterday’s transportation meeting and received a verbal commitment for the extra $100,000.

            “Without it the county, Red Bank and possibly Riverview Medical Center might have had to raise the additional funding,” Arnone said. “I told (NJTPA) that these improvements are necessary to slow traffic and make Red Bank, which has a great downtown area, even more pedestrian friendly.”

            Intersection upgrades at Front Street and Globe Court will be included in the West Front Street improvement project. The targeted improvement area lies between Emanuel Court (just west of Broad Street) and Washington Street (East of Riverview Hospital).

            In addition to the traffic signal upgrades, a solar-powered flashing beacon will be installed at the existing pedestrian crosswalk at Riverview Medical Center. Plans also call for the installation of concrete bulbouts, brick paver-styled sidewalks, high visibility crosswalks, pavement markings and minor road reconstruction work.

            “Downtown Red Bank is a great place for walking , visiting shops and restaurants or the beautiful Marine Pak on the Navesink River,” said Freeholder John P. Curley, a former Red Bank councilman. “These are welcome improvements, especially since visitors and employees of Riverview Medical Center use the parking garage on the opposite side of West Front Street.”

The $500,000 that was budgeted comes from The NJTPA’s $2.5 million Fiscal Year 2011 Local Safety Program, which is shared among 13 northern counties and the cities of Newark and Jersey City. The NJTPA did not specify where the extra $100,000 would come from.

Monmouth County Engineer Joseph Ettore noted that plans for the improvement were drawn up by in-house engineers. The final plans were reviewed by Red Bank, which adopted a resolution in support of the plan on April 26, and by Riverview Medical Center, which wrote a letter of support dated May 4. The tentative start date for construction is early spring of 2012.

            The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization for northern New Jersey consisting of 15 sub-regions represented by local officials and augmented by other public transportation providers and state agency representatives. The NJTPA meets monthly to plan for the region’s current and future transportation needs, and determines the eligibility for federal tax dollars to fund transportation projects.