County road safety improvements in Middletown requires park land diversion
Project improvements necessitate measure at Hartshorne Woods Park
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Monmouth County is proposing a minor diversion of parkland from Monmouth County Park System’s Hartshorne Woods Park in Middletown Township to allow for improvements to the intersection at County Route 8A (Locust Avenue & Valley Drive), County Route 8B (Navesink Avenue), Monmouth Avenue, and Oakdale Run; specifically, the replacement of the stop-controlled five-legged intersection with a modern roundabout.
The area proposed to be diverted is a portion of Block 786, Lot 1 (0.35 acre), which is one of the many parcels that make up the 797 acre park and is located at the southeast corner of the existing intersection. To compensate for this diversion, the County has agreed to acquire Block 786, Lot 2 (1.26 acres), which is immediately adjacent to the diverted area, is contiguous with the Park, and will result in a net increase of 0.91 acres to Hartshorne Woods Park.
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“The County designed roadway improvements that address pedestrian and traffic safety concerns while incorporating aesthetic details that will compliment and integrate into the surrounding area,” Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone said. “The improved traffic flow will be highly beneficial to all that use these well-traveled routes. In addition to providing for local travel, these roads provide an active and vital transportation link in the populated residential Bayshore communities to the Belford Ferry Terminal in Middletown, which shuttles commuters to New York City each day, as well as the Seastreak Ferry Terminal in the Borough of Highlands.”
“With the approval of the diversion, Hartshorne Wood Parks will gain almost an acre of land, adding to this significant area of preserved Highlands of the Navesink, which offers miles of hiking and biking trails and spectacular views of Sandy Hook Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers,” said Commissioner Ross F. Licitra, liaison to the County Park System.
There will be a virtual public hearing about the proposed diversion on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 7 p.m. Members of the public may participate in the meeting by phone, or computer device such as a smartphone, computer, or tablet. The hearing will be held in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:36-26.6.
For audio-only participation, dial 408-418-9388 and enter the meeting ID: 129 097 9120. For computers and smart devices, navigate a web browser to https://countyofmonmouth.webex.com/, then join with meeting ID: 129 097 9120. When prompted for the meeting password, type “‘welcome’” to join.
Public Questions and comments will be taken during the meeting. Audio-only callers press *3 to virtually raise a hand. Smart device users may use the WebEx raise hand icon.
Alternatively, written comments may be submitted to the County during a public comment period that will close on June 10, 2021.
All written comments on the diversion request, or requests to review the materials at the Monmouth County Division of Engineering, may be directed to: Jessica Kubida, Environmental Specialist, Monmouth County Division of Engineering, Hall of Records Annex, 3rd Floor, One East Main Street, Freehold, NJ 07728 or call 732-431-7760, ext. 6775. Please send a copy of any written comments submitted on this request to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Green Acres Program, Bureau of Legal Services and Stewardship, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420 Attn: Jessica Patterson or to [email protected].