One of downtown Red Bank’s traffic bollards survived its first real-world test when it was struck by an SUV early Monday.

Top, a view of the scene moments after the crash; below, the bollard Monday morning. (Reader photo, top; by John T. Ward, above. Click to enlarge.)

According to police Captain Mike Frazee, a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee northbound on Broad Street smacked a bollard at about 2:30 a.m.

The driver, Emily Wilson, 31, of Eatontown, was arrested on the scene on a DWI charge, Frazee said. The impact caused the Jeep’s airbags to deploy, he said.

A public utilities employee on the scene shortly after 7 a.m. told redbankgreen the bollard sustained no damage, though the “hard hit” by the vehicle caused some breakage to the surrounding concrete.

The crash was the first “at a significant speed” to have occurred since the manually retractable, two-foot-tall stainless steel bollards were installed a year ago as part of a streetscape makeover project, Frazee said.

“Thankfully, this occurred in the early morning hours, when pedestrian traffic was light,” he said. “The bollard seemed to have lived up to the test and actually stopped the vehicle in its tracks.”

The stanchions are used to block off the northern end of Broad Street at three intersections for the the seasonal  Broadwalk dining plaza.

In May, downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter covered the bollards with bright red sleeves more than six feet tall to make them more visible to motorists and facilitate the removal of orange safety barrels.

The bollards are scheduled to remain upright through the conclusion of the current Broadwalk season October 1.

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