February 23rd – Guest Speaker Joseph M. Ettore of the Monmouth County Engineering Department

February 23rd – Joseph M. Ettore, Monmouth County Engineer spoke to a very well attended meeting of about 50 individuals braving extremely cold weather. Mr. Ettore, a graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and a Freehold Township resident, with the assistance of Vince Bardone, Principal Engineer of the Traffic Safety Unit, kept the group enthralled for over an hour regarding the depth, complexity and responsibility of the Department of Public Works and Engineering.

Within its Engineering & Traffic Safety units, they are responsible: for 980 bridges and culverts; 1000 lane miles of roads; 250 traffic signals; the Bayshore Ferry Terminal; and approximately 2 million square feet of public buildings.

Mr. Ettore began his visual presentation by giving a prospective of Monmouth County ranking 6th in total land area and 5th in population within New Jersey’s 21 counties, and Freehold Township being 4th in total area and 5th in population within the counties 53 municipalities. As he emphasized, “Freehold Township is one of the larger townships in Monmouth County, and Monmouth Country is one of the larger counties in New Jersey”.

He described numerous construction and maintenance projects focused within Freehold Township. Recent year’s projects included: constructing new and improving existing buildings such as: new court rooms within the Hall of Records Building to ease the case backlog made available by moving the Country Prosecutors office into its newly constructed facility on Route 33; building the Sheriff’s Department communications facility which includes a 9-1-1 operation answering calls for 46 local jurisdictions and 1 military facility within Monmouth County; and the Child Advocacy Center project supported by the Prosecutors office and a not-for-profit agency, to name a few.

Recent and near future road projects included: improving safety and traffic along the length of Route 537, from Route 33 to Jackson Township; and straightening Halls Mill Road to cross Elton-Adelphia (Route 524) into Edinburgh Drive to improve traffic flow as an alternative to Route 9. Much discussion focused on last year’s tragic fatal crossover traffic accidents on Kozloski Road. Meetings with various professionals were conducted, and although it was viewed that “a textbook case of a properly designed interchange” and statistically driver speed was within acceptable range, and although “there was no glaring deficiency in design” or “cause”, “something had to be done quickly”. Immediate remedies were put in place with rumble strips and heightened awareness to drivers to reduce speed and use caution by signs and law enforcement presence as a safety measure to reduce potential accidents. There will still be ongoing research for other potential remedies such as narrowing roadway l “Engineering, Education and Enforcement” in preventing future catastrophes.

Mr. Ettore continued his presentation with describing ongoing road maintenance and preservation, lane stripping, and road resurfacing with constant attention to traffic safety and ease of flow, always staying up-to-date and considering cost effectiveness.

His presentation was very well received and was lauded by many in the group continuing to ask questions and willing to stay longer.


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