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The Ocean County Board of Commissioners is set this Wednesday to formally award a contract for installation of a traffic signal as well a complete redesign of the jughandle at the Chestnut Street / New Hampshire Avenue intersection in Lakewood, FAA News has learned.

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.

Under the new design, 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 the news was first broken here on FAA News, County officials begun the process of soliciting bids for this project at the end of March.

Following completion of this process, the Board of Commissioners is set to award the major contract to Earle Asphalt Company for $1,615,513.13.

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 their continued delay, thus enabling the bidding process to commence.

Construction will hopefully begin in the coming months. Officials have estimated that once construction begins, it will be at least 12-18 months before the new traffic signal is operational.

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