By Monmouth County Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone
What an incredible fall season we have experienced thus far. The weather has been extremely kind, allowing us to enjoy the amazing landscapes Monmouth County has to offer. I hope that you attended some of the fall events and festivals held in our beautiful county parks and at our beaches, and also those coordinated in your hometowns. The leaves have changed and that means after leaf collection is completed, the county will begin to prep for the upcoming winter season. We are already collecting salt and materials to safeguard our over 1000 miles of roadways when the inclement weather presents itself. The county will be ready as always.
In the meantime, you may have noticed our red trucks mobilized throughout the county as the Public Works and Engineering staff have been busy the past few months, working hard to enhance the infrastructure and efficiency of our roadways, bridge and culvert structures, traffic signals and natural resources.
As you may know, the New Jersey Department of Transportation Office of Maritime Resources awarded the Shark River Dredging contract to Mobile Dredging & Pumping Company of Chester, Pennsylvania. We are happy to announce the dredging equipment has been mobilized and they are beginning to prep the storage site. It is our hope that dredging will begin shortly, as we have until December 31st to start the project, as long as weather allows. The permit issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has a timing restriction of January 1st through June 30th of each year, so work will resume in the spring.
In Late October, we began the hydraulic dredging of Wreck Pond in Spring Lake through our Shared Services program. The County’s Division of Highways has been dredging Wreck Pond just west of the First Avenue Bridge using the Ellicott hydraulic dredge. To date, approximately 2,000 cubic yards of material has been removed, and the sand sediment is pumped to the beach as beneficial replacement. Under the permit issued to the Borough of Spring Lake, a total of 37,000 cubic yards is anticipated to be dredged, de-watered, and ultimately placed on the beach. We anticipate completion of this project on or before December 31st.
For those of you whom enjoy our beautiful Thompson Park in Lincroft, you may have noticed our red county trucks on site the past few weeks. We are happy to say that our team has completed the sediment removal as well as replacement and repairs to the drainage system just over 2 ½ weeks ahead of schedule.
The final stage of Bridge S-17, locally known as the West Front Street Bridge, located in Middletown and Red Bank, has begun. To date, the contractor has finished the new structure, installed the new traffic signals, and completed the majority of the approach roadway work. They are currently constructing the pedestrian walkway which will connect Shrewsbury Avenue to West Front Street, adjacent to the New Jersey Transit rail line. Additionally, the contractor is in the process of completing the demolition of the of original S-17 structure. Current plans have the majority of the project completed by the end of this year, with the wetland mitigation work to take place in the spring of 2016.
I am also happy to announce that we are approaching the halfway mark on the Sunset Avenue Bridge, located in Asbury Park and Ocean Township, project. To date, the piers and the abutments are complete, and all the beams have been set. The contractor is currently constructing the wing walls and started to set forms for the new deck.
Additionally, demolition of Bridge O-11, Main Street Bridge, in Interlaken and Loch Arbour has begun and cofferdams are being installed on the North and South abutments. The Contractor has finished all utility work on site including the relocation of the sewer main. Reconstruction of Crawford Circle has begun and the detour has been implemented. This project is on schedule and will be completed in the spring of 2016.
The County has two major movable bridges which are currently in varying phases of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority’s (NJTPA) Local Capital Project Delivery Program. In order to maintain both bridges are eligible to receive federal funds, we must successfully complete each phase of the project delivery program, and the entire process takes a few years.
We have completed the local concept development phase for Bridge S-32, locally known as the Rumson -Sea Bright Bridge, located in both towns respectfully, and currently in the preliminary engineering phase with federal funds through the NJTPA. This phase is on schedule and is anticipated to be completed by December 2016. We will then proceed to the final design phase, which we anticipate to be completed in 2019, with construction to commence by early 2020. Our goal is to maintain the federal eligibility and utilize federal funds for the anticipated $60 million required for the new bridge construction.
The County and NJTPA will start the local concept development phase in early 2016 for the Oceanic Bridge (Bridge S-31) connecting Middletown and Rumson. Current anticipated schedule is to complete this phase by mid-2018, and the preliminary engineering phase by end of 2020, with final design phase by end of 2023 and the construction phase to commence sometime in 2024. County anticipates federal funding for all four phases of this project, in addition to the construction costs, estimated to be $100 million.
As you can see, we have been extremely busy ensuring Monmouth County not only remains the most beautiful county in New Jersey, but also the safest. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Please take some time to enjoy your families and friends, and, as always, thank you for your support.