Federal stimulus money will fund county projects

Monmouth County stands to receive nearly $11.7 million in federal stimulus money for a variety of road and bridge projects throughout the county.

According to a press release from the county, the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 follows news that the county is eligible to receive $4.2 million in stimulus money for energy efficiency projects, $1.8 million for job training, $1.2 million for programs aimed at preventing homelessness and $100,000 to help defray the cost of preparing the countywide wastewater management plan.

“The county stands to benefit from President Obama’s economic stimulus package in many ways,” Freeholder Director Barbara J. McMorrow said. “Not only are we getting stimulus money for a number of shovelready construction projects, but we will be better able to prevent homelessness, retrain workers and create jobs for projects that will benefit our environment.”

The construction projects break down this way:

• $5,438,000 for the countywide road resurfacing project. Areas to be paved include four segments of Route 537: Monmouth Road in Millstone Township, Freehold Township and Manalapan; Colts Neck Road in Freehold, Freehold Township and Colts Neck; three segments of Route 520: Newman Springs Road in Marlboro, Holmdel, Colts Neck, Middletown, Tinton Falls and Red Bank; and one segment of Route 547: Shafto Road in Tinton Falls;

• $3 million to upgrade electrical components in a number of traffic signals, including changing over to LED lights, adding battery backups and replacing poles and foundations where necessary;

• $1.9 million toward the $4 million price tag to replace the Sweetmans Lane bridge over Millhurst Lake in Manalapan and rehabilitation of the Millhurst dam; and

• $1.3 million to stabilize weathered steel on the Oceanic Bridge linking Middletown and Rumson.

The county is also seeking an additional $70 million in federal stimulus money for a number of other projects, including intersection work at Route 34 and Route 537 in Colts Neck; intersection work at Route 524 and Halls Mill Road in Freehold Township; and the widening of Route 66 in Neptune from Jumping Brook Road east to the Neptune Circle.

“We know we’re not going to receive the full $70 million requested,” Monmouth County Engineer Joseph Ettore said. “If we just double our initial allotment of $11.7 million I would consider that to be significant.”