MILLSTONE – The Township Committee in Millstone Township has entered into a shared services agreement with Monmouth County to widen a road and a bridge that have been a source of concern.
On May 1, committee members authorized a shared services agreement with the county for the widening of Baird Road, the improvement and widening of culvert MS-70 and the construction of a separate bridge for pedestrians and equestrians.
Mayor Fiore Masci said officials have been concerned with Baird Road and the bridge because of their narrowness.
“All of us, I think, at one time or another have been on Baird Road and we get to that bridge that’s like a bottleneck,” he said. “If there’s an SUV coming or, heaven forbid, a bus, you feel like you are going to either hit the guardrail or the vehicle. That’s changed.”
Masci thanked Pat Butch for helping to advance the planned improvements.
“Pat Butch played a key role in making this happen,” he said. “It wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Pat Butch, so I just want to say a special thank you to her for the role she played in making this a reality. This is a positive thing for our community. We’ll not only widen the road, but that bridge will be widened.”
The mayor said the project will increase accessibility to the Thomas Baird Homestead, 24 Baird Road, for students at the nearby Millstone Township Middle School.
“There will be a beautiful trail for students to be able to walk over. One of the objectives was to also be able to have a safe passage for students to walk over to the Baird property. We understand it’s a wonderful learning center here in our town and we want to be able to offer that more to our students,” Masci said.
Deputy Mayor Nancy Grbelja said there will be a pedestrian walkway on the side of bridge.
“The whole Baird Road area is very tight and very dangerous,” Grbelja said. “Pat really advocated to get that area so kids from the (middle school) would have the ability travel safely from the school to the Baird property for some of the educational activities they have there.
“Working with the Monmouth County Planning Board and the county engineers, we were able to achieve that. Tonight’s resolution was the culmination of that work which took several years to get it done.
“That whole road is extremely dangerous and the speeding that takes place is excessive,” Grbelja continued. “People have gotten sideswiped on their bicycles. Recently, there was a loose horse and a loose dog. People were out there trying to capture the animals and several of our residents almost got hurt badly by people just not slowing down.”
Construction is scheduled to occur during the summer to have minimal disruptions to bus routes and traffic during the school year, according to Committeeman Gary Dorfman.