The Arnone Report: Freeholder Director acknowledges Public Works Employees, Encourages Shared Services
By Tom Arnone
Freeholder Director, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders
I hope everyone is having a great summer! I cannot believe we’re just a few weeks away from Labor Day!
The Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering has been extremely busy this summer working on numerous projects throughout the county. As liaison to this department, I am happy to report on the status of several of these projects. I would also like to thank our County employees who worked long hours to repair numerous bridges and roadways damaged during last week’s rain event. It is because of their hard work that nearly all bridges damaged during the storm have since been re-opened.
Last week, the County celebrated the reopening of Bridge W-38 on Schoolhouse Road connecting Wall Township and Neptune over Shark River. This new structure replaced the 70-year-old bridge that was originally built in 1948. The project included the complete demolition of the existing timber bridge and the installation of a new, single-span modern concrete bridge. I appreciate the patience of the residents who live in the area during the closure of the bridge from last December to just last week. I know it was a major inconvenience but I am happy to say we now have a safe bridge for all to use.
The County will also be celebrating the reopening of two more bridges in the coming weeks – one in Upper Freehold and one in Colts Neck. Stay tuned for more details on these two projects!
I would also like to provide an update on the East End Avenue bridge between Neptune and Neptune City. As many know, this bridge underwent a much needed reconstruction and was completed last spring. However, it came to my attention following the reopening of this bridge that the paving job was substandard. While it was an inconvenience to many to close this bridge down one more day after a long closure during reconstruction, I strongly support my decision to have this bridge re-paved and re-striped in order to bring the bridge in compliance with the high standards the County expects.
While it is always great to celebrate the completion of a project, it is also nice to mark the start of new projects, too. This week I will join my fellow Freeholders at the groundbreaking of the County’s Heavy Equipment Maintenance Building in Freehold. This building will include repair service bays, a lube oil/waste storage room, a tool crib, a tire storage room, offices, lockers, a break room with a kitchenette and a bunk room.
This new building and its amenities will certainly help our department of public works properly and efficiently repair our vehicles, as well as vehicles from partnering municipalities in the County’s shared services program. I look forward to its completion next summer!
Speaking of the County’s shared services program, last week we held a brief shared service information session at the Monmouth County Fire Academy. During this session, more than 60 people from nearly 40 municipalities learned the renewal process for their commodity and municipal assistance through the Monmouth County Shared Services Program. All contracts are set to expire on September 30th and it is our goal to have the agreements renewed weeks before that date.
Later this fall the County will host a shared services summit open to all municipalities. It is during the summit when municipal representatives can learn more about the program, as well as the new services the County can offer. I look forward to this summit and sharing success stories from this program!
Lastly, I would like to remind everyone that the annual Pound the Pavement for Purple Run/Walk will be held on October 6th in Neptune. As always, proceeds from this event will benefit the Lustgarten Foundation. I am truly proud to be one of the founding members of this race that raises funds for research and awareness of pancreatic cancer. For more information or to register, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/Neptune/PoundthePavementforPurple
As always, it is an honor to serve as your Freeholder Director.