Project on Bethel Church Road will reroute Jackson traffic


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JACKSON — As 2023 begins, motorists who are planning to travel on Bethel Church Road in Jackson will be redirected along an alternate route as a road project that spans Ocean and Monmouth counties gets underway.

The $2.9 million project will replace a two-lane road/bridge that has been designated as structurally deficient by Monmouth County, which is spearheading the project. Work on the project is expected to be completed by the summer.

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“The Bethel Church Road closure on the border of Howell and Jackson, between Friendship Road and Valley Road, will begin in January,” Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners Director Thomas A. Arnone told the Jackson Sun.

According to Arnone, Bethel Church Road, which intersects South New Prospect Road in Jackson, has a functional classification of Urban-Local with approximate average daily traffic of 2,719 vehicles per day.

The project site is approximately 887 linear feet and 34 feet wide. The new bridge will replace a structurally deficient bridge and other road improvements will be completed as part of the work, according to a press release from Monmouth County.

According to Mark Rohmeyer, assistant engineer for Jackson, a detour will divert vehicles from traveling east/west on Bethel Church Road.

“Vehicles traveling east will have to navigate a detour at the intersection of New Prospect and Bethel Church roads.

“The detour will reroute drivers south, along South New Prospect Road, to West County Line Road, then back northeast on Kent and Ford roads. Westbound traffic will take the same route in the alternate direction.

“The majority of the construction will take place at the border of Monmouth and Ocean counties,” Rohmeyer said, estimating it will take motorists about eight minutes to traverse the 3.5-mile detour.

He noted that Brewers Bridge Road changes to Bethel Church Road for the portion of the road east of South New Prospect Road.

“The border is a stream, the north branch of the Metedeconk River at the border with Howell,” the engineer explained. “There is a small bridge owned by Monmouth County that is getting repaired. The bridge itself is not in Jackson.”

Rohmeyer said work in the immediate area would include other upgrades such as guide rails.

The project is being funded by the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund and a $2.9 million contract has been awarded to Roman E&G Corp., Newark.

Arnone explained in an email that the project site is along Church Road (the name of Bethel Church Road in Howell) over the North Branch of the Metedeconk River at the border of Howell in Monmouth County and Jackson in Ocean County.

“The existing bridge and road were constructed on the present alignment in 1956. The existing structure is a three-span superstructure supported on a timber substructure.

“The structure is structurally deficient due to the poor condition of the deck/superstructure and substructure,” Arnone explained … “The current lane configuration consists of two 11-foot lanes and two shoulders.

“The project will consist primarily of the replacement of the existing structure carrying Church Road over the North Branch of the Metedeconk River,” he added.

The proposed lane configuration consists of two 12-foot lanes and two 5-foot shoulders. The approach road work will include widening and raising the pavement, with full depth pavement reconstruction and mill and overlay at each end to meet existing pavement.

According to an assessment by Monmouth County, the area contains rural residential, utility line right-of-way, forested wetlands, streams and forested tracts. The work will not disturb historic sites.

“No historic archaeological sites have been previously identified within the project alignment, nor did an inspection of the area identify any potential historic archaeological resources.

“No significant historic architectural properties will be impacted by the proposed project. Several wetlands are adjacent to the stream and road crossing within the project area,” according to the county’s press release.

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