CARTERET—The borough awards a $1.1 million construction contract for Industrial Highway improvements to Fai-Gon Electric of Piscataway, Mayor Dan Reiman announced this week. Construction is slated to begin by the end of 2009 and should be completed by the fall of 2010, the mayor said.
Middlesex County and the borough have agreed to jointly fund improvements at the Roosevelt Avenue intersections along Industrial Highway (also known as Peter J. Sica Memorial Highway), which will include improvements to two major intersections. Industrial Highway is currently a municipal roadway and is scheduled to be taken over by the county upon the conclusion of the improvements, while Roosevelt Avenue is currently a county-owned roadway.
The agreement is the result of a study conducted in 2006, which determined that the intersections of Industrial Highway with both northern and southern Roosevelt Avenue experience excessive traffic volumes that warrant the installation of traffic signals.
According to the study, the northern intersection, in the town’s Hill District, experiences traffic volumes of up to 740 vehicles per hour. The southern intersection, located by the town’s fire house, experiences volumes of up to 529 vehicles per hour as of 2006. The threshold established by the state Department of Transportation is 350 vehicles or more per hour.
Both intersections will receive new traffic signals, along with curb cuts, crosswalks, signage, and other traffic controlling amenities. The project will also include new guide rail along a portion of Industrial Road.
The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders agreed in 2008 to fund $500,000 of the improvements with the balance coming from a federal grant secured by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez under the TEA-21 and SAFTEA-LU transportation bills.
Of the $1.7 million project, approximately $1.1 million is dedicated for the construction improvements awarded to Fai-Gon Electric; with about $300,000 representing the cost of design and inspection services. In addition, Kinder Morgan Liquid Terminals will provide for $300,000 in aesthetic enhancements along the portion of Industrial Avenue adjacent to their facility. This project will include new trees, a berm, and additional buffering for both security and sight visibility.
“The Peter Sica Memorial Highway represents the industrial gateway to Carteret,” Reiman said. “With the incredible amount of economic growth we’ve experienced, and the completion of the road’s extension to Woodbridge, Industrial Highway has become the lifeline of many industrial parks and commercial districts. As such, it has endured an increasing amount of wear and tear, and significant traffic volumes. We’re grateful that the Freeholder Board has seen fit to fund these greatly needed improvements, and join us in making Industrial Highway safer.”
Truck traffic in Carteret is predominantly confined to Industrial Highway and the pending upgrades to these two key intersections would have no negative impact on residential areas, according to the Borough Engineering Department. They would instead facilitate the manner in which Industrial Highway and Roosevelt Avenue are accessed. The construction projects are outside the roadway and within its right of way and will not adversely impact traffic during the construction phases, according to officials.
“Industrial Highway is a vital thoroughfare to Carteret’s light industrial districts,” Middlesex Freeholder Ron Rios added, “more so with the restriction of truck traffic to this and the town’s other main arteries. As such there are several areas for improvement, namely in the area of safety, that will dramatically improve its usage for commercial and residential motorists alike. The Freeholder Board and I were pleased to have contributed to these enhancements.”
Project Design Engineer Donald Norbut of T&M Associates said that the project incorporated various complex traffic and transportation design elements most notably two new fully actuated traffic signals which also include pedestrian signals and one of the signals will be electronically integrated with an adjacent active Conrail At-Grade Rail Crossing and consideration of nearby Borough Fire and Police Facilities. He further noted that the federal, state, county, and Conrail permit and approval coordination presented unique challenge, however, one worthwhile to secure the significant federal grant funding for the project.
Reiman added that a major focus of his administration has been to divert truck traffic from residential areas to the town’s main arteries. Approximately 55,000 cars and trucks pass through Carteret daily, according to Reiman. Improvements such as those to Industrial Highway facilitate the processes through which trucks can be confined to industrial areas.
The mayor has also announced that the redevelopment areas along Roosevelt and Washington Avenues are slated to become light traffic areas.
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