Improvements, including new crosswalk, planned in Freehold Borough

FREEHOLD – A contract has been awarded by the Borough Council for the development of a crosswalk, and improvements to two roads and a parking lot in Freehold Borough.

During a recent meeting, council members awarded a $489,214 contract to Seacoast Construction, East Brunswick. According to a resolution, the project will include repairs and improvements to sections of West Main Street and Parker Street, and at the Fourth Street parking lot.

The project will also include the development of a mid-block crosswalk on East Main Street. Municipal officials have sought approval from the state for the crosswalk since 2016. The project received state approval earlier in the year.

East Main Street is Route 79, a state highway.

Municipal officials have previously said a new marked crosswalk would be established on East Main Street between South and Sheriff streets. State law requires motorists to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

The new crosswalk is planned to connect the area near a branch of the Two River Community Bank with the other side of East Main Street in the vicinity of the American Hotel, according to officials.

Borough officials have said the Freehold Borough Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, as commissioned by the state Department of Transportation, recommended the installation of a mid-block crosswalk to promote a safe movement of pedestrian traffic in the downtown business district.

The Freehold Borough Police Department has endorsed the installation of the mid-block crosswalk.

Seacoast Construction was awarded the contract as the lowest bidder. Other bids were submitted by Jads Construction ($629,945), Esposito Construction ($623,705) and Earle Asphalt Co. ($569,913).

“Freehold Borough had its engineering firm create bid specifications for the mid-block crosswalk and other road work we had in our capital budget,” Councilman George Schnurr said. “By combining all of this construction work together we could gain economies of scale and make sure we got the best bang for our buck.”

A pre-construction meeting will be held in August and work on the crosswalk is expected to begin in September, weather permitting, according to borough officials.

In other business, council members authorized an agreement with Abbington Engineering for services to include surveying, mapping, design, preparation of plans and specifications, and construction, administration and inspection in conjunction with improvements to Bannard Street. The contract with Abbington Engineering is for an amount not to exceed $84,600.

And, council members passed a resolution memorializing Mayor Nolan Higgins’ appointment of Paul Jensen to the Freehold Borough Human Relations Committee as the liaison from the Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education. The appointment will expire on Dec. 31.

Finally, council members confirmed the appointments of Evelyn Soto as library clerk, Jose Andre as seasonal helper, and Ian Crawford and Maurizio Degrande as patrolmen in the Freehold Borough Police Department; the resignation of Sue Ann Derkach as a member of the Freehold Fire Department, Engine & Hose Company No. 1; and the termination of Joseph Lubrano as a member of the Freehold Fire Department, Richardson Engine Company No. 2.