“Road Diet” improves safety in Asbury and surrounding communities
ASBURY PARK, NJ – Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver and New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti today marked the completion of the Main Street/Route 71 safety improvements project in Asbury Park, Monmouth County.
“This project is an excellent example of how the Murphy Administration and the New Jersey Department of Transportation deliver projects that improve safety and the quality of life in our communities,” Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver said. “From Neptune through Asbury Park, and north into Allenhurst, Main Street/Route 71 has received a long-overdue makeover.”
“For decades, Main Street was a busy state highway that cut Asbury Park in two, dividing it between the east and west side,” Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “Reconfiguring Main Street with a traffic-calming road diet, adding bike lanes, and improving sidewalks provides a safer, more welcoming downtown no matter how you choose to get here.”
The $21.6 million project was designed to improve safety and reduce congestion on Main Street/Route 71 along a two-mile stretch between Cedar Avenue in Allenhurst and the Main Avenue/Bond Street intersection in Asbury Park. Project improvements included the resurfacing of Main Street/Route 71, implementing a “road diet,” upgrading 29 intersections with ADA compliant ramps, and several pedestrian upgrades including curb and sidewalk replacement.
Additional improvements include bike lanes, 17 new traffic signals, replacing of steel utility poles with standard wooden poles, landscape restoration, utility relocation, and improved lighting to enhance safety for the thousands of motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists using the road each day.
Project construction began in March 2018 and was designed to proceed in stages with work suspended during the busy summer season.
A “road diet” was implemented in Asbury Park as part of this project. The new roadway striping on Main Street/Route 71 reduces the number of travel lanes to one in each direction with a center turn lane. These dedicated left-turn lanes are already reducing congestion and reducing the risk for crashes.
The presence of the new center turn lane frees up traffic to operate more efficiently, and serves as a traffic calming measure to reduce speeds through a busy and vibrant business district with heavy pedestrian traffic.
New gas mainlines and facilities were installed along Route 71/Main Street, and NJDOT contractors installed a new sewer system on behalf of the Asbury Park Sewer Authority.
Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for construction updates and real-time travel information. For NJDOT news follow us on Twitter @NewJerseyDOT and on the NJDOT Facebook page.