Freeholders approve interim improvements to Route 524

HOWELL — The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders has approved interim plans for improvements to the intersection of county Route 524 (Adelphia-Farmingdale Road) and Squankum-Yellowbrook Road (county Route 524A). Both roads are county highways and under the jurisdiction of the board.

“Some time ago we recognized the problems on this part of Adelphia-Farmingdale Road,” said Monmouth County Freeholder Thomas J. Powers, the freeholder liaison to the county Department of Public Works and Engineering, “and we’ve been working on a permanent solution. In the meantime, the county will improve the situation with an interim project.”

According to a press release, the problem at the intersection has to do with increased truck traffic in the area, especially on West Farms Road, a narrow road that intersects Route 524 at a very severe angle. Trucks traveling north on West Farms Road have a difficult intersection to maneuver where the road intersects with Route 524. The intersection of West Farms Road and Route 524 is about 1 mile east of the intersection of Squankum-Yellowbrook Road and Route 524. At the West Farms intersection trucks traveling east on Route 524 are forced to use the entire width of Route 524. Trucks traveling west encroach onto the sloped grass area along the east side of West Farms Road in order to make the turn.

According to the press release, the permanent solution will be to restrict truck traffic on West Farms Road and divert it to Squankum-Yellowbrook Road and then to Route 524. However, to direct truck traffic onto Squankum-Yellowbrook Road the county must improve the configuration of the intersection of Route 524 and Squankum-Yellowbrook Road, which is also somewhat aslant.

The intersection of Route 524 and Squankum-Yellowbrook Road is scheduled for major improvements as part of the county’s capital improvement plan. That plan calls for the reconstruction of bridge HL-5, which is on Route 524, just west of the intersection of Route 524 and Squankum-Yellowbrook Road.

The bridge will be widened to 40 feet and Squankum-Yellowbrook Road will be relocated slightly to the east from its current location to form a right angle at the intersection with Route 524. The new intersection will be signalized.

According to Monmouth County Engineer Joseph Ettore, the major improvements are now in the design phase and will require substantial right-of-way acquisition, which is likely to take about 12 months to complete. In addition, construction of the improvements will take at least two years to complete.

“Because the completion of the capital improvement project is so far away, and the problems are somewhat acute, we will implement interim improvements at the intersection of Route 524 and Squankum-Yellowbrook Road to alleviate the predic-ament,” Powers said.

The interim improvements, which are supported by the Howell engineer and police department, will consist of the widening of the approach on Squankum-Yellowbrook Road to Route 524 to accommodate turning movements by trucks onto Route 524 without the need to encroach on the opposite lane of traffic. It also includes restricting truck traffic on West Farms Road, between Squankum-Yellowbrook Road and Route 524, and the upgrading of signs and pavement markings.

“The interim improvements have been designed and will be constructed using county forces,” Powers reported.

The project should take about 15 days to complete this fall, with minimal disruption to the flow of traffic, according to the press release.

Powers thanked the staffs of the county’s engineering, traffic safety and highway departments for their cooperation in developing and implementing the interim plan.