By John Burton
RED BANK — A particularly problematic stretch of roadway through the borough will be getting Monmouth County’s attention beginning in August.
Front Street – from its western portion in the area of English Plaza to its east section near Riverview Medical Center, across from Washington Street – is scheduled to have some rehabilitation and renovation construction work intended to make that corridor safer for pedestrian and vehicular traffic, according to William Heine, a Monmouth County spokesman.
The project is scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 6, and will take about four months to complete. It had been slated to start earlier but was delayed by gas utility work in the area, Heine said.
The work has been budgeted at $634,000 and will be paid for, in part, by federal dollars, administered by the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, and county funds, according to Heine.
The intent of the project is to standardize the width and “improve the geometry in the corridor to provide well-defined lanes in each direction,” Heine said. The work will include creating turning lanes and some additional on-street parking.
Contractors are expected to install friction- and skid-resistant material along portions of the roadway and resurface the road. The area, especially near the medical center, will be constructed to comply with the American with Disabilities Act by building handicap accessible ramps. Flashing pedestrian crossing signs and slightly elevated crosswalks also will be installed, along with colored striping that should help make pedestrians more noticeable to oncoming traffic, Heine said.
The project calls for curb extensions, which will narrow the roadway in spots to force vehicles to merge into single lanes, and the installation of “bulb-outs,” which Heine said are curb extensions at intersections, that will give those waiting to cross the street greater visibility.
The traffic light at East Front Street and Globe Court will be upgraded to enhance traffic flow, he said.
The section of the Front Street corridor, intersecting the downtown business area, has been the site for a number of collisions involving pedestrians and vehicles and with vehicles and vehicles. In April 2006 there was a fatal accident on East Front Street when a vehicle struck a Riverview employee as he crossed the road.
Earlier this month, a 24-year-old Ocean resident was hit by a vehicle and suffered minor injuries as she crossed at the corner of West Front and Broad streets. The vehicle was attempting to make a left from Broad to West Front when it struck her.
The driver, a 31-year-old Highlands man, was issued a summons for failing to yield to a pedestrian, according to Capt. Darren McConnell, a police spokesman.
McConnell said it was appropriate for county engineers to address that portion of roadway, “because we have a high accident frequency in that whole stretch.”