COUNTY ISSUES REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR ROAD SAFETY UPGRADES
The Morris County Board of Freeholders, in conjunction with Mt. Arlington Borough and State Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, will review possible road and intersection safety upgrades to a busy section of Howard Boulevard in Mt. Arlington.
The county has issued a request for proposals from highway engineering firms to design potential improvements to this busy road, which carries heavy traffic to and from the Lake Hopatcong area to Routes 80, 46 and 10.
The section of road being considered for upgrades runs from Seasons Drive to the I-80 eastbound ramp and NJ Transit rail station driveway. It is near the border of Roxbury Township.
The study would analyze existing conditions in the road corridor and develop a final report with concept plans for improving vehicular and pedestrian safety.
There are three signalized intersections and several driveways within the study area. Each of the signals are owned and maintained by the state Department of Transportaion, while Howard Boulevard (County Route 615) is under county jurisdiction.
Responses to the RFP will be due in late February, with a contract to be awarded by early April. The consultant then would have about three months to work up viable short- and long-term safety enhancements. Once approved, the county would consider moving forward with final design work and implementation.
Work on short-term recommendations could start within 3-to-12 months, and long-term improvements could be implemented within five years.
The state Department of Transportation currently is in the preliminary design stage for the replacement of the I-80 overpass at Howard Boulevard, which would include improvements to on and off ramps, plus traffic signal modifications. But the engineering phase is expected to take another couple of years, with NJ DOT not anticipating a construction contract award until at least 2022.
Freeholder Director Doug Cabana
“This is a very busy and, sometimes, difficult section of road for motorists to traverse,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “We would like to see what steps can be taken in the short term to make it safer, as we wait for the state to move ahead with its major intersection and ramps project.’’
Assemblyman Anthony Bucco
“I applaud the county for taking this step to address the safety issues in this area and I am eager to provide assistance as the County begins work with the NJDOT to make these much needed improvements,’’ said 25th District Assemblyman Anthony Bucco. “It is always great to see all levels of government working together for the safety of our traveling public. I look forward to participating in the process and lending assistance where and when needed.”
“The safety of our residents is my number one priority,’’ said Mt. Arlington Mayor Michael Stanzilis. “My own teenage son drives on this road almost every day. I’m very pleased that the county is taking aggressive measures to come up with a solution.”
The county’s project would include three public meetings: the first to introduce the consultant to the municipality and allow residents to discuss the project, the second to present collected data, recommendations, and concept plans; and the third to present the preferred plan.
As part of this project, an analysis of crash/accident history, travel patterns, weekday and weekend traffic counts, and speed limit review would be conducted.