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Just minutes ago, after the strike of midnight, Ocean County officials formally began the process of soliciting bids for installation of a traffic signal as well a complete redesign of the jughandle at the Chestnut Street / New Hampshire Avenue intersection in Lakewood.

If the county would simply install a standard traffic signal with a lead-phased northbound left turning arrow, southbound traffic would become an even major disaster as they would need to wait longer for their green signal.

Instead, County Engineers have worked for years designing a plan to completely redesign the existing Route 70 westbound exit ramp to meet up with a new T intersection with New Hampshire Avenue. This new intersection will get its own traffic signal to allow for safe right and left turns onto Chestnut Street.

This way, the intersection of Chestnut Street and New Hampshire Avenue will receive its own traffic signal which will permit safe turning from Chestnut Street onto New Hampshire Avenue, but no left turns from New Hampshire Avenue northbound onto Chestnut Street, as northbound left turning traffic will use the redesigned jughandle. Traffic flow on New Hampshire Avenue southbound will be further enhanced with installation of a new right turning lane onto Chestnut Street.

Both Chestnut Street and New Hampshire Avenue are under County jurisdiction, however due this intersections proximity to Route 70 and because the project includes modifying the existing Route 70 westbound exit ramp, the project required approval from the New Jersey Department of Transportation - not a simple task to conquer.

As previously reported here on FAA News, the adjoining property owner of Andrew's Corner delayed this project by refusing to sign off on the necessary right-of-way acquisition, to the point that the County was forced to seek Judicial intervention in the matter in order to keep their traffic signal project moving ahead.

Subsequently, Ocean County Superior Court Judge Craig Wellerson put a halt to this continued delay, and that has enabled the County to now be able to begin soliciting bids for the construction.

Solicitation of bids will continue for the next few weeks. The Ocean County Board of Commissioners is expected to award the contract in May. Construction will hopefully begin in the months following.

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