Proposed Siloam Road improvements await funding approval

A Monmouth County road that has been the scene of several fatal accidents over the years is still in line for improvements.

In late 2019, the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders authorized the submission of an application for federal funding assistance for road improvements and resurfacing on Siloam Road in Freehold Township.

Siloam Road is also known as Route 527 and is a county road. Siloam Road intersects Route 537 in the Smithburg section of Freehold Township. Siloam Road runs south from Route 537 and becomes Cedar Swamp Road at the border of Freehold Township and Jackson in Ocean County.

The funding is being sought under the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority’s (NJTPA) Fiscal Year 2020 High Risk Rural Road Program, according to a resolution passed by the freeholders.

According to the resolution, the 2.84-mile stretch of Siloam Road that is being targeted for the improvements is between milepost 19.59 and milepost 22.43.

The conceptual improvements consist of the construction of a high friction pavement surface along existing horizontal curves, and the installation of high visibility striping, center line and edge line rumble strips, raised pavement markers, new signs and drainage improvements.

In the resolution, the freeholders said those improvements would “enhance side friction at existing horizontal curves and provide positive guidance for vehicles traversing these curves especially during night time, and thereby reduce the potential for single-vehicle crashes.”

A resident of Freehold Township recently reached out to Newspaper Media Group to ask what had become of the planned improvements. A reporter asked Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone for an update.

On Oct. 28, Arnone responded and said the Siloam Road project “was submitted by Monmouth County to the NJTPA in January 2020 under the High Risk Rural Roads Program, which identifies and prioritizes safety improvements at high crash locations on rural roads in (an) NJTPA sub-region.

“All applications received under that funding program are evaluated by a Technical Review Committee (TRC) comprising subject matter experts from state and federal transportation agencies,” he said.

“The Monmouth County Engineer’s Office has been diligently working with the TRC over the past several months to address the comments and finalize the scope of the proposed improvements on Siloam Road within the proposed project limits.

“The county has recently been advised that the review process for the application has been completed and the project application for the improvements on Siloam Road has been recommended by the TRC for advancement.

“The county is optimistic the project will be approved for funding at the NJTPA’s November 2020 board meeting, following which, the project will advance to the design and construction phases in accordance with the schedules determined by the federal agencies funding the project,” Arnone said.

Arnone serves on the NJTPA Board of Trustees as does Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly.