ROAD REOPENS, ‘TEMPORARY’ LIGHTS REMAIN

Contractors raced Monday afternoon to beat a deadline to reopen a bridge they’d rebuilt over the past nine months. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Little Silver police reported Seven Bridges Road reopened Monday evening after a nine-month closure.

But Monmouth County has no immediate plans to remove two controversial traffic lights installed to facilitate traffic flows through detours necessitated by the project, said Mayor Bob Neff.

“It’s been a long road,” Neff said earlier in the day, in anticipation of the reopening. “The police will be happy, our residents will be happy and even folks from surrounding towns who need to get from point A to point B will be happy.”

The closure, which began in July, was the result of a bridge replacement project, and not only affected residents with bothersome detours. It also led to the installation of two temporary traffic signals to help move traffic caused by the closed roadway – one at the intersection of Branch Avenue and Rumson Road, and one on Branch and White Road.

Though the detours will end, Neff said the lights will remain, for now at least.

“The lights on Branch will be left up for some period of time so that we can determine how traffic flows without the detour, and then make a decision at some point with respect to whether or not those lights will be made permanent,” Neff said.