The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders has authorized the execution of a federal aid agreement that will provide most of the funding for long-awaited improvements to Halls Mill Road in Freehold Township and Howell.
On Aug. 7, the freeholders authorized an agreement with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) for funding in the amount of $27.82 million for the construction, construction engineering services and construction support services for road improvements on Halls Mill Road and county Route 524 (Elton-Adelphia Road).
The total estimated cost of the project is $28.51 million, according to a resolution.
“We are ready to advertise this project for public bidding,” Monmouth County Engineer Joseph Ettore told the freeholders and members of the public.
The Federal Highway Authority has authorized funding up to $27.82 million for costs associated with the project. The freeholders were required to formalize a federal aid agreement with the state DOT to secure the funding and did so through the resolution they passed on Aug. 7.
The Halls Mill Road project has been in development since the 1980s when Freehold Township initially conducted studies regarding the realignment of Halls Mill Road between Three Brooks Road and Route 524, according to previously published articles.
Jurisdiction for the project subsequently switched to Monmouth County, which pursued and received federal funding. Construction will take place over 1.9 miles on Halls Mill Road between Three Brooks Road in Freehold Township and Route 524 at the border of Freehold Township and Howell.
The project will include the realignment of Halls Mill Road, which will result in Halls Mill Road ending on Route 524 opposite Edinburgh Drive. At present, Halls Mill Road and Edinburgh Drive both intersect Route 524, but not opposite each other.
The project will include a new traffic signal at the intersection of Edinburgh Drive and Route 9; a traffic signal at the new intersection of Halls Mill Road, Edinburgh Drive and Route 524; and a new traffic signal at the intersection of Halls Mill and Three Brooks roads.
Other improvements are expected to include the creation of a cul-de-sac on Spyglass Hill Road; a pedestrian crossing beacon on Edinburgh Drive at Kapalua Court and Wentworth Drive; sidewalks on Route 524; and enhanced lighting.
In other business, the freeholders authorized the execution of an agreement with Freehold Township concerning the widening of Three Brooks Road and the reconstruction of three culverts on the road that are owned by the county.
According to a resolution, plans call for Three Brooks Road to be widened to 40 feet from its intersection with Halls Mill Road to a point 3,400 feet west to match the 40-foot width of the road from Hibernia Way to Route 9.
To accommodate the widening of Three Brooks Road, which is a township road, three county owned culverts will also require widening and reconstruction. An agreement regarding the engineering design for the proposed improvements has been negotiated between the county and Freehold Township.
According to the resolution, Monmouth County will be the lead agency for the improvements on Three Brooks Road. Design plans will be developed, permit applications will be completed and final construction plans and specifications will be drawn up.
The estimated cost for the consultant engineer design services for the project is $750,000 and the county and the township have agreed to share the costs evenly.
Upon completion of the design phase, the parties will prepare a separate agreement regarding the construction phase of the proposed improvements, according to the resolution.