Join Our Telegram Channel



The continuation of long-awaited traffic improvements to the Prospect Street/ Massachusetts Avenue intersection in Lakewood is finally set to get back on track, FAA News has learned.

As first reported here on FAA News, major improvements to this intersection were stalled in October 2022 when the contractor suddenly filed for bankruptcy.

Ocean County has designed plans to widen this intersection to include 3 lanes in each direction of Prospect Street (for right turns, thru traffic, and left turns) and to include 2 lanes in each direction of Massachusetts Avenue and the Excel Business Park driveway (Massachusetts Avenue will have a lane for right turns, and a lane for thru traffic and left turns. The Excel Business Park driveway will have a lane for left turns, and a lane for thru traffic and right turns.)

All turning lanes will be 12 feet wide. All thru traffic lanes will be 11 feet wide.⁣

At that point, the plan was to install a new traffic signal which will include left turning arrows on both sides of Prospect Street, and right turning arrows on Massachusetts Avenue to keep that lane moving while Prospect Street has the green arrow for left turns.

Associated drainage upgrades are included in this project as well.⁣

The then-Ocean County Board of Freeholders, on February 5, 2020 awarded this entire project under one contract for $1,332,675.62 to Assuncao Brothers from Edison, New Jersey.⁣

Site work on this massive project first began in July 2020. Extensive underground utility relocation has been undertaken, and curbs were relocated to make way for the utilities to relocate their poles out of the way of the new turning lanes.

At that time, Prospect Street had only 1 single travel lane in each direction, as well as a shoulder of variable width.

Seeing how long it would to get this major project to fruition, in July 2021, after pressure from Township officials, Ocean County restriped Prospect Street from 200 feet north of Cross Street to Williams Street to a three-lane section that includes a two-way center left turn lane, left turn lanes at specific intersections and two through lanes throughout.

Several weeks later, the county also restriped Prospect Street at the Cross Street approach to provide right and left turning lanes.

In conjunction with this restriping project, Ocean County officials coordinated with Lakewood’s Township Committee to eliminate parking along both sides of the entire Prospect Street, from Route 9 to Cross Street.

However, as previously reported here on FAA News, back in August 2022, Assuncao Brothers suddenly filed for bankruptcy, leaving the remainder of this project in limbo.

According to their filing, which was obtained by FAA News, they have over 200 creditors and they owe between $1-10 million.

As previously reported here on FAA News, after the bankruptcy filing, realizing the situation at hand, County officials quickly installed an interim signal at this intersection.

In the meantime, Ocean County's attorneys began working through the process so they can pull the bond and get another contractor to complete the work.

The great news is that this process is finally complete and a new contractor is now all lined up!

The County's February 5, 2020 contract included a surety performance bond and payment bond issued by NGM Insurance Company (Surety), in favor of Ocean County as obligee, in connection with this contract.

Through the bankruptcy filing, Assuncao has formally rejected this road improvements contract. This process permits the County to now deal directly with Surety.

The County and Surety have agreed to move forward by way of Surety procuring a new contractor to perform the balance of the contract.

Surety has now procured Black Rock Enterprises, LLC, to perform the balance of the Contract.

The Ocean County Board of Commissioners has now formally agreed to seal the deal and execute a Tender Agreement accepting Black Rock Enterprises, LLC, to perform the balance of the Contract.

The Commissioners also amended the total amount of the Contract due to a typographical error. The February 5, 2020 contract was for $1,332,675.62. The amended amount was corrected to $1,335,850.82.

Numerous utility poles still need to be moved in order to make way for the new travel lanes. This requires coordination with numerous utilities - no simple task. A lot of progress has been made, but there is still many poles that need to be moved out of the way.

Additional traffic improvements are on the way to this corridor.

As previously reported here on FAA News, the Township will be paving Frances Street from the back of Prospect Square to Massachusetts Avenue.

Additionally, the County is planning to reconstruct the entire stretch of Prospect Street.

That project will upgrade existing pedestrian crosswalk at Capital Lane / Summer Avenue with a solar flashing beacon, and improve pedestrian crossings at Majestic Way and Murray Street with fluorescent yellow green pedestrian crosswalk signage.

This project will also include elimination of left turns in and out of some of the Prospect Square roadways at Prospect Street.

As previously reported here on FAA News, that project remains held up by litigation with property owners who have been delaying the project.

To join a FAA News WhatsApp Group, click here.

To join the FAA News WhatsApp Status, click here.

No comments: