OLD BRIDGE – Attempts to slow down traffic on Route 34, Disbrow and Amboy roads, has spanned more than two decades from the installation of solar stop signs, signage and police enforcement patrol.
The latest proposed traffic safety concept is essentially making Disbrow Road a dead end street for people traveling from Lambertson Road crossing Amboy Road.
Township officials discussed the proposed concept at a Township Council meeting on July 20. Henry said they have sent out letters to residents in the area seeking feedback, opinions and suggestions of the proposed concept, which are due by July 31.
“There have been a number of very serious accidents [at the intersection of Amboy and Disbrow roads],” Mayor Owen Henry said. “We feel [making Disbrow Road a dead end] will greatly improve that intersection. People coming from Lambertson will not go down Disbrow, they will either have to make a left or right onto Amboy.”
Henry said in discussions with Township Engineer Nicole Shapiro, the dead end concept came to light.
“The substandard roadway that Disbrow turns into right after the residential development between there and the last exit into the parking lot of the health and racquetball club has been substandard forever,” he said.
At one point, the area was a cow path, officials said.
Shapiro said they looked at different alternatives for the area, however, the steep slope and environmental constraints prevent officials from widening the 90-degree narrow roadway.
Also moving utility transmissions along the right side of the roadway would cost the township in the millions, Shapiro said.
Henry said making the roadway a dead end would eliminate unnecessary two-way traffic on the substandard roadway.
“This is something that has been going on for years,” he said. “This is an attempt to finally do something, it may not be the best thing to do, but can certainly make it a lot better than it is now. Disbrow won’t be a cut through [anymore] or a cutout as they say.”
Ward 2 Councilman Erik DePalma said he received concerns from residents of the proposed dead end concept, which would divert traffic to Amboy Road and Route 34 and Morristown Road and Route 34.
He said the intersections are dangerous noting he was involved a serious car accident four years ago.
Shapiro said a few years ago the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed a reconstruction project of Route 34 from Old Bridge to Colts Neck in attempts to make the corridor safer.
The intersections included Amboy and Morristown roads intersecting Route 34. Shapiro said there was a push for a four-way stop at the intersections.
For whatever reason the project was withdrawn, Shapiro said, then the DOT came to the township to present a paving project.
“We brought up our original plan for that intersection and how we thought they should resurrect and put it back into the pipeline,” she said.
Shapiro said DOT came back and said they couldn’t grant a four-way stop; however, with the council’s support of the paving project they could put in a three-way intersection and put in a traffic light at the intersection of Route 34 and Morristown Road near the gas station.
Also once traffic improvements are implemented, traffic would only be allowed to make a right onto Amboy Road and a right onto Route 34 to the proposed traffic signal at Morristown Road. Right now traffic can make a left onto Route 34 from Amboy Road.
Shapiro said the plans for the three-way intersection and traffic signal are in the preliminary phase. She said she would provide the council with the status of the plan in the near future.