By Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
I hope everyone had a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend! A new school year is officially upon us and that means it is time to be extra cautious when driving around our communities!
It’s always important – and especially now that children are back in school – that everyone obeys speed limits, stops for pedestrians and avoids distractions when driving. It’s also important that pedestrians and children walking to school use crosswalks or cross at intersections and wait for the walk signal before stepping into the road.
As the school year begins, I will be sending notices to school districts once again to let them know I am always happy to meet with students of all ages to discuss civics and the role of county government. Last year I had the opportunity to meet with students in several towns throughout the county including Red Bank, Belmar, Eatontown, Long Branch, Tinton Falls and Asbury Park.
In addition to the start of a new school, we are also celebrating the extended tourism season here at the Jersey Shore. The Monmouth County Division of Tourism, which I serve as liaison to, is keeping busy by attending several upcoming events, including the Asbury Park Oyster Festival this weekend, September 6-8. The Feast of San Gennaro in Belmar will return September 14-15. To find more information about these events and other activities in the area, visit the Monmouth County Tourism Website at www.tourism.visitmonmouth.com.
On another note, I am pleased to say that the flooding issue at the area of the Spring Lake Heights Shopping Center and Route 71 has seen significant improvements in the last few months. The County has been working diligently with Spring Lake Heights officials, NJ Transit and NJDOT to eliminate this problem. I want to commend the Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering, as well as, NJ Transit, NJDOT and Assemblymen Sean Kean and Ned Thompson for their continued efforts to finding a permanent solution to this problem.
Additionally, I am pleased to report that we are continuing the construction of an important traffic safety improvement project along a 1.5 mile-long section of County Route 539A (Sharon Station Road) corridor between County Route 539 (Allentown-Davis Station Road) and County Route 526, in the Township of Upper Freehold, which includes the reconstruction of three bridges, a boulevard concept, a new roundabout, and upgrade of the existing traffic signal.
We are looking forward to receiving bids for construction of the Sharon Station Road improvements scheduled for September 5th, and anxiously awaiting commencement of construction activities this fall.
As always, I want to commend the Public Works and Engineering Department for working diligently to advance various infrastructure improvement projects to keep our roads, bridges and buildings in a state of good repair.
On a separate note, I, along with Sheriff Shaun Golden, Clerk Christine Hanlon and fellow Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger had the honor of joining Congressman Chris Smith and Mayor Mark Walsifer at the Post Office Dedication Ceremony naming the Belmar Post Office as the “Dr. Walter S. McAfee Post Office Building”. Dr. Walter McAfee, a former resident of Belmar, was a scientist, educator, and adviser to the U.S. Army Communication-Electronics Command and the Fort Monmouth community. He was instrumental in the success of Project Diana, an effort by scientists at Camp Evans to pierce the earth’s outer atmosphere with high frequency radar.
It was his mathematical calculations that enabled the team to bounce the first radio signals off the moon’s surface. Without the success of his calculations that allowed for communications to occur between earth and space, the achievements of launching a satellite into space, or sending a man to the moon, would not have been possible. It is the achievement of this extraordinary man that helped launch us into the space age.
It was a great honor to be invited to attend and speak at Dr. McAfee’s dedication and to remember and honor him for his outstanding contributions to our history.
As always, it is an honor to serve as your Freeholder Director.