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The new traffic signal recently installed at the James Street and Williams Street intersection is set to go fully operational in the coming days.

This traffic signal and road widening project, which included a much needed westbound left turn lane as well as an eastbound right turn lane, was done by Ocean County, which owns and maintains James Street.

Due to the intersection's proximity to the rail crossing as well as Freshwater Wetlands in this area, this project required several key permits from the New Jersey Department of Transportation and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which took years of planning.

Work on this project included minor widening of James Street for pedestrian access, a new sidewalk at the southeast quadrant of the intersection, relocation of existing overhead utilities and poles, and repairs to the existing stormwater drainage system that runs beneath both streets.

In April 2021, the Ocean County Board of Commissioners awarded the contract for this project to Earle Asphalt Company for $732,313.13. They were the sole bidder on the project.

The traffic signal will be synced with the rail crossing. When the train comes by, the westbound left turning signal and the northbound right turning signals will remain on an extended green light.

The intersection will be signed "no turns on red". However, a right turning overlap signal will be installed to permit northbound right turns while the westbound left turning traffic has their green arrow.

A crosswalk will be painted across both James and Williams. Pedestrian signals will be installed. When pedestrian actuated, the signals will turn green. On Friday night and Shabbos, the signals will be cycled automatically.

The county coordinated their work with Conrail who, at that time, owned the adjacent rail crossing. As part of this intersection improvements project, Conrail constructed a pedestrian gate and new walking surface to improve pedestrian accomodations over their tracks.

Conrail's work on their rail crossing, in connection to Ocean County's plans for this new traffic signal, commenced in July 2021. New piping was installed under the road/tracks to improve storm water runoff management. A walking surface was then installed adjacent to the tracks. This work was able to be done even prior to the County securing their DEP approval as this work was done outside the Freshwater Wetlands area.

The rest of the road work was then put on hold as the County waited to receive the necessary DEP approval.

The main part of the road work actually commenced approximately in December 2022. Work commenced with installation of utilities and relocating utility poles. Once that was complete, the turning lanes were paved and the traffic signal was installed.

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