Ocean County Press Release
OCEAN COUNTY will receive $1.6 million in federal grants to improve safety at five intersections in Lakewood along Cedar Bridge Avenue, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to Vine Avenue.

"This road runs through a residential area close to downtown Lakewood and pedestrians rely on it to get to local businesses, schools, public transit, parks and houses of worship," said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, who represents the County on the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority Board of Trustees. "This grant will allow us to make needed safety improvements, including giving residents crossing the road a safe refuge."

The NJTPA approved the funding earlier this week at its meeting. This project is among 14 throughout the region that the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees approved. This grant is part of the NJTPA's Local Safety Program, which provides federal funds for cost-effective solutions that can make an immediate impact on their target areas.

"Ocean County looks continuously at areas that need improvements," Kelly said. "This grant will help in our long term goals of improving safety on our roads."

The funding will be used for the installation of a median with pedestrian refuge islands and bicycle compatible shoulders.

The improvements also include traffic signal upgrades and dedicated left-turn lanes on Cedar Bridge Avenue at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Vine Avenue. Cedar Bridge Road is a heavily travelled four-lane corridor that connects the Garden State Parkway to Route 9.

"We have more than 626 miles of county roads in Ocean County, the most of any county in the state," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Road Department. "We appreciate the NJTPA's efforts to authorize funds that assist us in upgrading our roads to make them safer for our residents and visitors."

With this grant being secured the Ocean County Engineering Department will proceed with the design and permitting for the project.

The NJTPA Board recently approved $50.8 million in Local Safety Program and High Risk Rural Roads grants for projects that will proceed in fiscal years 2017 and 2018. More information on the program is available online at www.njtpa.org/LocalSafety.

The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for 13 northern New Jersey counties. Under federal legislation, MPOs provide a forum where local officials, public transportation providers and state agency representatives can come together and cooperatively plan to meet the region's current and future transportation needs. The agency establishes the region's eligibility to receive federal tax dollars for transportation projects.

The NJTPA Board consists of one local elected official from each of the counties in the region (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren) and the cities of Newark and Jersey City. The Board also includes a governor's representative, the New Jersey Department of Transportation commissioner, the NJ TRANSIT executive director, the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a citizen's representative appointed by the governor.

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