Using federal funds, Ocean County and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority will soon begin a comprehensive study to bring long-term major traffic improvements to address congestion and safety along portions of Kennedy Boulevard and County Line Road in Lakewood, FAA News has learned.

Back in March 2022, Ocean County was awarded $1 million in federal funds from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority for a Local Concept Development to study Kennedy Blvd and East County Line Road between Squankum Road and Laurelwood Avenue to address congestion and safety in the project area.

Officials have now begun soliciting bids for a contractor for this study which is expected to begin this coming winter and take a year and a half.

The project section of Kennedy Blvd currently has 2 travel lanes, each 12 feet wide, plus a shoulder of variable width, 0-14 feet. The project section of County Line Road currently has 3 travel lanes, each 12 feet wide, plus a shoulder of variable width, 0-6 feet.

According to a recent traffic count, Kennedy Blvd carries 18,816 vehicles daily, and County Line Road carries 18,774 vehicles daily. Peak traffic hours are 7:00-9:00am and 4:00pm-6:00pm, with 2,827 vehicles traveling Kennedy Blvd during the peak afternoon hours.

Between September 2018 and September 2021 there were 30 crashes, including 4 crashes with injuries, at County Line Road and Forest Avenue. Several more intersections along the project area have had over 20 crashes over a 3 year period.

This section of Kennedy Blvd was last repaved in 2008. Portions of County Line Road were last repaved in 2012 and 2008.

The heavy volumes of vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic create unsafe conditions along these corridors, county officials have explained.

At this early stage in the process, county officials do not yet know what configuration these roads will have once the project advances.

The NJTPA Local Concept Development process will review the project area and identify alternatives and at the completion of the LCD process, the county will know what improvements will be recommended to advance to preliminary design.

Once the LCD is complete, NJTPA will use additional federal funds for the Preliminary and Final Engineering work as well as the actual road work, a NJTPA spokesperson confirmed to FAA News.

(In simple terms, the federal government gives money for major road improvements. However, you can't simply tell them what you want to do and then ask for a blank check. Rather, you need to first go through the process of doing comprehensive studies which includes studying various "planning alternatives" (i.e. different road improvements or configurations) and then you can get funding for the project that you want to do).

This project is at the infancy stages and is likely to take 7-10 years until actual road work is done.

For the shorter term, the Ocean County Board of Commissioners, in June 2021, committed $1.6 Million for the reconstruction and widening of Kennedy Blvd between Squankum Road and Route 9, and plans for that project continue in preliminary engineering stages.

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Anonymous said...

Kennedy Boulevard MUST be connected past Laurelwood and past Squankum!

TG said...

How many schools and simcha halls are planned for Kennedy Boulevard and East County Line Road?