State wraps up work on 3 construction projects

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Kris Kolluri has announced the completion of the final of three safety and operational improvement projects along Route 9 in Freehold Township.

“DOT’s Route 9 corridor projects demonstrate the department’s commitment to improving our transportation infrastructure and the quality of life for Monmouth County residents and motorists traveling through this area,” Kolluri said.

According to a press release, these projects were constructed in accordance with an agreement between Freehold Township officials and DOT in order to reduce the high amount of traffic congestion and improve safety along the Route 9 corridor.

The Route 9 intersection improvement project at Route 79 and Schank Road was completed on Dec. 15. The $12 million project realigned the intersection to the north, improving safety, geometric alignment and facilitating traffic flow. DOT constructed two large reverse loop ramps in the northeast and southwest quadrants of the intersection.

These ramps accommodate left turns and u-turns from Route 9 northbound and southbound, respectively. The ramps were designed so that queued traffic will not obstruct the ramps. The project also created additional lanes and shoulders on Route 9, Route 79 and Schanck Road. According to the DOT, the newly designed intersection will help solve the pre-existing capacity problems by decreasing traffic congestion during peak hours.

The Route 9, Route 79, Schank Road project complements two recent DOT safety and operational improvement projects on Route 9. DOT completed a $15 million project that replaced the Route 9 bridge over county Route 522 on Aug. 1. DOT replaced an old structurally deficient bridge with a two-span steel bridge and improved the geometric alignment and sight distances of the approaching road. In addition, DOT added an acceleration lane from Route 522 to Route 9 northbound.

Lastly, the Route 9 and county Route 524 (Elton-Adelphia Road) intersection improvement project replaced the forward ramps in each direction on Route 9 with reverse jughandles for the left-turn movement from Route 9 onto Route 524. DOT widened Route 9 to accommodate additional travel lanes in both directions in order to reduce congestion and built additional travel lanes in both directions of Route 524. The traffic signals at Route 9 and Route 524 and Route 524 and Jackson Mills Road were redesigned to work in accordance with the additional lanes of traffic. This $8 million project was completed in August, according to the press release.