Main Street, CR 533, Local Safety Improvements, From Dukes Parkway to Kennedy Blvd., Borough of Manville
Somerset County has been awarded a $3 million dollar grant to implement safety measures along Main Street, County Route 533, in Manville Borough. The grant will utilize Federal Aid funding from to provide engineering design and construction for improvements to pedestrian and vehicular safety. The funding is being provided through the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority’s (NJTPA) Local Safety Program (LSP). The goal of this project is to make the road safer for all roadways users, including motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
Main Street (CR 533) is a heavily traveled north-south urban minor arterial connecting the southern Somerset County municipalities with NJ Route 22 to the north. This is a busy commercial corridor including small business, two malls with large parking lots and municipal offices. The project’s corridor is 1.5 miles and includes 15 intersections beginning at Dukes Parkway (CR 608) to the north and ending at JF Kennedy Boulevard to the south. The cross section of the roadway varies between two and five lanes with parking on both sides in many sections of the corridor. Six of the intersections are signalized.
A road safety audit (RSA) was performed along this corridor in April of 2015 by a team organized by the Transportation Safety Resource Center (TRSC) at the Rutgers’ Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT). The emphasis during the RSA was on the issues facing pedestrians and improvements for their safety. In addition to pedestrian issues there was also a concern with vehicular safety at intersections as the study found a significant number of left turn crashes, speeding and difficulty with lane delineation.
Recommendations from the RSA included two areas of the project to be considered for implementation of a ‘road diet’. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) describes a ‘road diet’ as “converting an undivided four lane roadway into three lanes made up of two through lanes and a center two-way left turn lane.” (More information on ‘road diets’ can be found at the FHWA webpage.) New lane striping would provide center left turn lanes at driveways and side street intersections. These measures would improve intersection sight distance by converting the outside travel lane to a shoulder as well as aid pedestrian crossing by reducing the number of lanes and cross walk distance. Per the FHWA Proven Safety Countermeasures, a 29 percent reduction in all roadway crashes is anticipated. Other recommendations from the RSA included the addition of pedestrian refuge islands, bulb outs in shoulders, and new crosswalk locations and alignments.
The project is now in the Preliminary Design and Environmental Documentation Phase, which started in November 2017 and is anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2019. Once this phase is complete, the project will then undergo a federal review to authorize funds for Final Design, which could last several months. Once federal approval is obtained, Final Design is expected to last another year and will be followed by the construction bid process. Given these timelines, the earliest anticipated construction start date would be in the spring of 2021.
Public outreach is an important part of this project. Public Information Centers will be held at strategic stages of the project to provide information to the public about the project and seek input.
For more information, please contact the Engineering Division.