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As first reported here on FAA News, Lakewood Township intends to repave Forest Avenue (from North Lake Drive to 6th Street) this winter, and possibly to begin the work as soon as next week.

The work includes milling, base repair, paving, as well as replacement of curb, installation of ADA compliant pedestrian ramps and truncated domes, crosswalks, repair/replacement of sidewalk as required, upgrading storm water inlets with storm water compliant curb pieces and bicycle safe grates, upgrading signage to provide breakaway poles and MUTCD compliant signage and the installation of pavement markings and striping as required.

The Township solicited bids over Yom Tov from prospective contractors for this project. At their regular monthly meeting today, the Township Committee is expected to formally award the road repaving contract to Earle Asphalt Company of Farmingdale, New Jersey for $780,813.13. This was the lowest responsive and responsible bid of 6 bids which the Township received for this project.

The project will be funded in part by a $525,119 grant the Township was awarded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the FY 2022 Municipal Aid award.

NJDOT Municipal Aid is an annual state program which awards grants to municipalities to improve local roads, enabling local governments to significantly reduce or eliminate reliance on local property tax dollars to support their projects. This annual fund program is part of the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) reauthorization in October 2016, which raised the gas tax.

Under the Municipal Aid grant program, each county is apportioned a share of the total funding based on population and the number of local centerline miles. Municipalities compete for portions of their county’s share. NJDOT provides 75 percent of the grant amount when a town awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project.

Past performance in connection with timely award of projects and construction close-out factors were part of the evaluation of the proposals. When evaluating applications, NJDOT also verifies if the municipality has adopted a Complete Streets policy. A Complete Streets policy establishes guidelines that require consideration be given to pedestrians and bicyclists when local transportation projects are being planned, designed, and built. (This is why it's super important for Lakewood Township's Planning Board to require sidewalks with all approvals as that maintains the Township's "complete streets" policy!).

Remington & Vernick Engineers prepared and submitted the Township's FY 2022 Municipal Aid grant application.

The engineering design work was done by Colliers Engineering & Design, Inc. DBA Maser Consulting, of Red Bank, New Jersey.

The contract stipulates that "all work on this contract shall be completed within 75 calendar days", but also that "the Township intends to commence work as soon as possible after the contract award."

The portion of Forest Avenue from 9th Street to 6th Street was previously repaved by New Jersey American Water in conjunction with one of their utility upgrades projects.

In December 2020, the Township repaved the portion of Forest Avenue from Kennedy Blvd to 9th Street. The road remained unstriped until June 2021 when the Township finally restriped the double yellow center lines and also upgraded the road with a white fog line to assist in parking and encouraging drivers to stay in their lane.

In August 2021 the Township upgraded the Forest Avenue approaches at County Line Road and Kennedy Blvd by restriping Forest Avenue southbound at County Line Road and northbound at Kennedy Blvd with new turning lanes. New signage alerting drivers to the new traffic pattern was installed as well. Forest Avenue northbound across Kennedy Blvd also received guide lines to discourage drivers from cutting off.

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