Posted Friday, April 12th, 2019
County Seeking Road Safety Upgrades
The Morris County Board of Freeholders has awarded a contract to a Trenton-based engineering firm to conduct a traffic safety and improvement study that could lead to improvements on a busy section of Howard Boulevard in Mt. Arlington.
Johnson Mirmiran & Thompson won the county public works contract through a public bidding process that drew five qualified engineering firms. Under terms of the $59,843 contract, the firm must complete its work within six months.
The freeholders in late January, in conjunction with Mt. Arlington and Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, announced the county would undertake a thorough review of this section of Howard Boulevard, which carries heavy traffic to and from the Lake Hopatcong area to Routes 80, 46 and 10.
“We intend to keep our promise to see what can be done to make this road safer for motorists and pedestrians,’’ Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “Awarding this contract is a step in the right direction.’’
The portion of road being considered for safety upgrades runs from Seasons Drive to the I-80 eastbound ramp and NJ Transit rail station driveway, very close to the Roxbury border.
As part of this project, the consultant will collect data, including an analysis of crash/accident history, travel patterns, weekday and weekend traffic counts, and speed limit patterns. There also would be first-hand observations of driving patterns and motorists’ behavior.
The consultant would have up to six months to work up a series of conceptual and viable short- and long-term safety enhancements.
“I am pleased to see the county continuing to move forward to address the safety issues in this heavily trafficked area. I will continue to lend assistance with the NJDOT when needed to make these improvements,’’ said 25th District Assemblyman Anthony Bucco.
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.
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.
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.