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RAIL, WATER JOBS PROMPT DETOURS

nsrd-detour-091811A water-line installation along Shrewsbury Avenue, below, may add to driver woes after regular business hours, while Newman Springs Road users are in for a new route for 24 hours. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

shrewsbury-ave-091311Never easy, navigating the intersection of Shrewsbury Avenue/Rector Place at West Front Street in Red Bank is about to be more irksome five nights a week.

And commuters who normally travel the stretch of Newman Springs Road that separates Red Bank and Shrewsbury are in for at least 24 hours of disruption this week, Red Bank police say.

Already underway is a nighttime detour on Shrewsbury Avenue, which went into effect Sunday night and is expected to continue for the next six to eight weeks, said police Captain Darren McConnell.

The workaround is to accommodate installation of the new eight-inch water main along Shrewsbury Avenue, but is in effect only at night, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Mondays through Thursdays.

The night work is to avoid compounding the flow of traffic already heavily impacted by the washout of Hubbard Avenue at Shadow Lake in Middletown during Hurricane Irene last month. A detour around that closed road has poured additional traffic into the northwest corner of Red Bank between Hubbard and Cooper bridges.

The first stage of the detour will affect the portion of Shrewsbury Avenue from Monmouth Street to the North Jersey Coast Line tracks just shy of West Front Street, McConnell said.

Later segments subject to night closings are the length of Rector Place, which is the northern continuation of Shrewsbury Avenue; and the short stretch between the tracks and West Front, plus the block of West Front between Shrewsbury and Bridge Avenue. That’s where the new water line will tie into the existing system, McConnell said.

McConnell said police don’t expect much impact on traffic because of the lighter volume at night.

Starting Tuesday night, though, a “pretty massive detour” goes into effect with a shutdown of Newman Springs Road between Broad Street and Shrewsbury Avenue, McConnell said.

The shutdown, expected to last from 7 p.m. Tuesday to 7 p.m. Wednesday, is to allow the state Department of Transportation to implement a $115,000 grade-crossing improvement for the freight rail line that crosses the road. The agency will replace the existing crossing with a new concrete freight rail crossing and repave the asphalt approaches to provide a safer and smoother driving surface, the DOT said in an announcement.

Here are the detour details from the DOT:

• Motorists heading west on Newman Springs Road will take Route 35 south to Patterson Avenue, or Route 35 north to Bergen Place, to Shrewsbury Avenue to Newman Springs Road.

• Motorists heading east on Newman Springs Road can take either Shrewsbury Road south to Patterson Avenue to Newman Springs Road or Shrewsbury Avenue north to Bergen Place to Newman Springs Road.

The detour routes were coordinated with the Shewsbury Police Department. Access will be maintained to businesses and residential properties on either side of the rail line.

The timetable is weather-dependent, the DOT said.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
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