Ocean County officials are expected to vote Wednesday in favor of awarding a contract to a construction firm that will complete a project aimed at improving safety near one of the busiest – and sometimes confusing – intersections along Route 70.
The work will center on the area of Route 70, New Hampshire Avenue and Chestnut Street, all within the bounds of Lakewood Township but a major thoroughfare for motorists on their way to and from Toms River, Brick and other neighboring communities. The contract is expected to be awarded to Earle Asphalt in the amount of $1,615,513.
According to County Engineer John Ernst, two traffic signals will be installed near the intersection, which is already outfitted with three jug-handles along the state highway. The safety aspect enters the picture in a major way at the intersection with Chestnut Street, located just inside New Hampshire, just west of the state highway. As it currently stands, left turns are allowed from Chestnut onto New Hampshire, meaning vehicles can cross four driving lanes and become intertwined with traffic coming off Route 70.
“This project is to install two signals, one at Chestnut and New Hampshire, and another at the intersection of a peel-off from the existing jug-handle to tie into Chestnut Street,” explained Ernst.
Left turns from Chestnut Street would be eliminated. While the roadwork and additional signals are designed to make the entire intersection safer for motorists, navigating it may become a bit more complicated.
“You’ll have to go around two jug-handles to make the left from Chestnut to New Hampshire,” Ernst said.