Manalapan officials eye new road off Route 33


MANALAPAN – The movement of vehicles on Route 33 is on the minds of Township Committee members.

At a recent meeting the committee tabled a resolution that is expected to ask the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to allow a new road to be constructed off Route 33 west at a point that is about 1,500 feet west of the highway’s existing intersection with Millhurst Road.

The new road, if constructed, would lead back through the property where The Village at Manalapan retail center has been approved for construction and connect to The Meadows housing development.

Mayor Andrew Lucas said more study and discussion of the request is planned, with possible action on the resolution to come at the committee’s Nov. 28 meeting. Lucas stressed that the new road off Route 33 is not being pursued in order to facilitate the construction of The Village at Manalapan.

The idea for the new road comes as traffic at the intersection of Millhurst Road and Route 33 has neared capacity prior to the construction of The Village at Manalapan. The shopping center would bring more vehicles to Millhurst Road and through the intersection of that street with Route 33.

As approved by the Planning Board, The Village at Manalapan does not include access from Route 33 west. All deliveries and customers would enter the shopping center from several access points on Millhurst Road, according to the plans that were approved by the board.

Lucas said the resolution, if passed by the committee, will ask the DOT to consider a twofold option – building a new road off Route 33 back to The Meadows housing development and building an overpass at that same location.

The overpass would permit drivers who are coming out of the new road to cross over Route 33 without stopping for a traffic light and access Route 33 east. Lucas said this option would relieve traffic at the intersection of Route 33 and Millhurst Road.

Lucas said that in his “layman’s understanding” of the concept which is one of several being considered, the new road and the overpass are being proposed with the road providing an ingress point into the shopping center off Route 33 and the overpass providing a better flow of traffic out of the shopping center for motorists who want to travel east on Route 33.

In another traffic-related matter that was discussed at the Nov. 7 municipal meeting, township engineer Greg Valesi said he was looking for a solution to “access issues” occurring between a Kindercare facility and the Yorktowne Two shopping center on Gordons Corner Road about a half-mile east of Pease Road.

Valesi said safety is an issue as motorists at both locations pull out onto Gordons Corner Road simultaneously. The engineer said he is considering lane reconfigurations and said he will send his recommendations to the township administrator.

Lucas said the matter will be taken up by the governing body at a future meeting.