Monmouth County Commissioner Lillian Burry, stands near a poster board featuring the plaque dedicated to her vision and persistence in making the project a success. Backdrop is the celebrated intersection. 

COLTS NECK, NJ –Monmouth County's Board of County Commissioners, along with the Colts Neck Township Committee, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 14, to celebrate the completion of the State Route 34 (SR 34) and County Route 537 (CR 537) intersection improvement and bridge replacement project. 

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The total cost of the project was $23.3 million and was funded primarily by the Federal Government; About 17.5 million provided by Federal funds, authorized through the National Highway Performance Program, with the balance funded locally through the New Jersey Department of Transportation and county contributions.

It was a project that County Commissioner Lillian Burry first spearheaded in her municipal role as Mayor of Colts Neck, and in her current role as Monmouth County Commissioner she was able to see it through completion in 2020. 

The above plaque is displayed at the intersection. 

Lillian Burry commented to TAPinto, “For nearly two decades I have worked to complete this much needed intersection improvement for our town of Colts Neck.  As a resident of the township myself, I am personally gratified to see us reaching this significant milestone.

During her speech to the crowd gathered on the lawn in front of the Orchards Plaza, Burry spoke from the podium, with the backdrop of the American Flag and the intersection being celebrated. " I applaud our County Public Works and Engineering department... We could not have done this without our partners on the state level, and their tireless efforts to make this project a reality

TAPinto spoke with Congressman Chris Smith, who commented, "Rome wasn't built in a day, neither was A-18. This is one of Lillian's many projects that because of her tenacity and persistence, came to fruition. She was able to leverage a modest amount of county money, with primarily Federal money and some state. What a tremendous accomplishment. This is now a state-of-the-art intersection that will last 100 years."

The project took nearly 19 years to complete and included the widening of SR 34 and CR 537, replacement of the existing traffic signal with state-of-the art technology, replacement of the CR 537 bridge (1300-A18), replacement of the SR 34 bridge (1308-152) and installation of bio-retention basins. 

“The intersection improvement project at State Route 34 and County Route 537 set out to improve the safety and operations of the intersection as well as decrease the use of local roadways as alternate routes to avoid congestion,” said Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. "

According to a press release issued by the county: The County assembled a project design team that included Greenman-Pedersen, Inc., Amy Greene Environmental (a Davey Company), and Prestige Environmental. We awarded a construction contract for these improvements to Rencor Inc. of Summerville.

In addition to Rencor, Inc., the construction team included Pantaleo Electric, Inc., ML Ruberton Construction, Co, Protec Documentation Services, Clean Earth Matters, LLC, LC Equipment, Inc., The Vann Organization, ANS Consultants, Inc., and Multifacet, Inc. The Construction Inspection and Administration design consultants included T&M Associates, Inc., Amercom, Inc., and GTS Consultants.

In total, the County maintains approximately 1,000 lane miles of roads, 924 bridges and culverts and 239 traffic signals and beacons.