County of Monmouth
For immediate release
July 3, 2018
Improvements include traffic lights, curbing, crosswalks, and roadway space

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County recently hosted an activation ceremony for intersection improvements at County Route 50 (Church Street and County Route 50 (Kings Highway) on Monday, July 2, 2018 at the improvement site in the Middletown Village Historic District.

The improvements included four matte black traffic lights, peanut stone curbing, pedestrian crosswalks, ADA compliant curb ramps and a widening of the roadway to allow for a left-turning lane onto Church Street. The scope of the work was designed to lessen the burden on motorists who use Kings Highway and Church St. as their main commuting route.

“There is no question that drivers will see a dramatic difference,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “Just those little improvements will be good for traffic flow and pedestrian safety.”

Lucas Brothers of Morganville began initial construction on Feb 1. after almost two decades of traffic issues. While the project has been of interest for Middletown since the early 2000s, elected officials and congregations in the immediate area wanted to design a plan that perfectly preserved the feel of the historic district. The district is known for its two pre-Revolutionary War churches and a third built before the Civil War.

“It has been tricky to accommodate modern needs while preserving our historic roots, but the County did a commendable job minimizing the impact to the historic district,” said Freeholder Gerry P. Scharfenberger, Ph.D. “This project has had a high standard for compromise since the beginning.”

In an effort to keep the historic feel of the area, Lucas Brothers utilized matte black traffic signals, a common technical style used in New Jersey when upgrading historic districts and installed 1,261 linear feet of peanut stone to line the roadways.

“Keeping an open-door policy between the parishes and local community has led to a great compromise,” said Scharfenberger. “Drivers and pedestrians are safer and happier and the historical roots still remain intact. It couldn’t have worked out better.”

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