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Officials Eye Thanksgiving for Completion of Route 530 Construction

Construction was first anticipated to be completed by late-June

After delaying the anticipated date of completion, construction along Route 530 in Whiting is expected to be completed in late November, Township Council members announced this week. 

Council Vice President Brendan Weiner said Monday that he spoke with Ocean County Engineer Frank Scarantino last week and was informed that the improvements to the county highway between Schoolhouse Road and Route 539 are expected to be completed by Thanksgiving. 

"[Scarantino] told me that the number one priority is the drainage," Weiner said, adding that the engineer said that basins should be installed by October and asphalt can then be laid. 

Freeholder John P. Kelly has said the project includes 4,000 feet of new sidewalks, five new left-turn lanes at intersections, wider shoulders, a new traffic signal, three storm drainage basins and restoration of the rail crossing near Station Road, which has been completed.

The changes to the two miles of Route 530, also known as Lacey Road,  $4.07 million under the contract awarded to C.J. Hesse Inc., of Belford. That is $100,000 under the estimated cost.

The original date of completion was June 20, said Councilmember Warren Reiter. The delay, he said, could be attributed to "a lot of flaws in the design" and Hesse dividing its resources with a Garden State Parkway project. 

"He's been shifting his men from one place to the other," Reiter said. "They have not had as many people on the job as I feel that they should have."

A representative for Scarantino said in June that "unanticipated delays with utility relocations and weather" caused the extended construction timeframe. 

Reiter acknowledged that there is much to consider when major renovations to a highway are undertaken. 

"People think that when you build a road, you pave it and that's the end of it," he said. "There's a lot of electric work and side things and so on."

A protracted construction schedule has meant slower travel for drivers, as the speed limit has been lowered to 25 mph, even when construction workers are not present. 

Travel in the work area is always 25 mph, according to  Capt. Lisa Parker. 

"The new speed limit, which has been authorized and approved through resolution by both the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders as well as the Office of the County Engineer, is in effect 24 hours a day and not just when construction workers are present," .

Whiting Folk! August 29, 2012 at 01:16 PM
"and Hesse dividing its resources with a Garden State Parkway project." This is the real reason this project is not getting done.... you never see anyone working on this thing. There should be penalties in the contract for not completing in a timely fashion. He bid on the job said it would be done on a certain date and then proceeded to screw up big time. He should be doing this job for free, I bet you he's already been paid too.
CM August 29, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Blaming it now on the drainage pits.So It has taken 1 1/2 years to dig a hole in the ground. Laughable.
john sprofera August 29, 2012 at 05:23 PM
perhaps the mayor and coulcil should devote their attention to this project being completed as promised, there are surely penalty clauses applied that insure proper completion of the job.this is what happens when the old boy network is allowed to thrive.i don't see the mayor looking into the delay but is more interested in getting involved with the snooki and jwow situation.wait; he can't get his face in the national media simply with manchester issues.typical small town goober!
Da Gr8 1 August 29, 2012 at 07:03 PM
this whole project has been an abortion. i thought they were widening 530 to 4 lanes. now there is a median in the middle. what was the point of this project then? then they closed the ramps from 530 on to lake rd and lacey rd why???? it made more traffic. this is an absolute disgrace and a total waste of taxpayer money. fressola should apologize to the people of whiting for having to put up with this garbage and lower our taxes. yes i know. im dreaming. but it doesnt change the fact that this has been a total waste of time and money
Roger Adams August 30, 2012 at 09:50 PM
I totally agree with "Da Gr8 1". This project has been a total waste of our tax dollars. The money spent for this boondoggle should have been used to lower our property taxes. RJA

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