Perhaps there was some logic to installing a pedestrian crossing switch in the middle of a sidewalk, in front of a senior-living complex no less. Because that’s just what the New Jersey Department Transportation did recently on Riverside Avenue in Red Bank as part of its Route 35 makeover project.
What’s Going On Here? Read on. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)
So, how’s the final paving of Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown going? It’s not, apparently.
Contrary to multiple alerts about overnight closings from Monmouth County, which owns the bridge, as well as from the two towns the bridge connects, paving work that was to have been done this week hasn’t been, with the latest postponement occurring on Thursday.
A county spokeswoman offered no reason for the inactivity, but said the county is on track to complete all work on the new West Front Street span by the end of April. Meantime, the overnight closures for the paving work have not yet been rescheduled, she said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The paving of Hubbard’s Bridge on West Front Street between Red Bank and Middletown will require an additional night of closure between 8 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday, according to an alert from Red Bank borough. Monmouth County officials had previously expected the work to be finished Wednesday night. Motorists are advised to plan alternate routes.
Hubbard’s Bridge on West Front Street between Red Bank and Middletown will be closed for paving from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to an alert from Red Bank borough. Motorists are advised to plan alternate routes. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The Red Bank council yanked the plug on a new sign ordinance Wednesday night, leaving the town with a law that even local officials say is hot mess.
Amid widespread criticism, and some squabbling among majority Republicans, the governing body on Wednesday rejected proposed changes to the sign law that Councilwoman Cindy Burnham said had been in the works for three years and cost the town $18,000.
After more than two years of review and tweaking, a proposed change to Red Bank’s signage law is still too complicated, according to… well, nearly everyone who’s looked at it.
“Fourteen pages of regulations with three pages of tables does not help simplify what’s allowed and not allowed,” Jim Scavone, executive director of the downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter, told the borough council two weeks ago.
His comments have since been widely echoed. Planning board member Linda Cohen, who owns Eye Design on Broad Street, expressed concern that prospective business tenants would get one look at the document and decide to set up shop elsewhere.
Still, the planning board unanimously agreed Monday night that the proposed changes did not conflict with the town’s Master Plan, and kicked it back to the council with the message to “keep tweaking,” even if the amendments become law. Read More
Doc Shoppe, and only Doc Shoppe, is permitted to have a table on the sidewalk out front under a trial run approved by the council. Meanwhile, a sign ordinance was sent back for more revisions. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Efforts by Red Bank businesses to draw in more customers were the subject of two measures discussed by the borough council last week.
One concerned retail and restaurant signage, which was the subject of an enforcement crackdown that generated considerable blowback a year ago.
The other is a trial run, using one store, to gauge the impact of allowing merchants to display wares in front of their stores.
The first few cars of eastbound traffic head toward Red Bank over the the new West Front Street bridge between Red Bank and Middletown Monday morning. Below, Red Bank Marina owner Steve Remaley with Red Bank Councilman Mike DuPont. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Slightly over budget but on time, the new West Front Street bridge linking Red Bank and Middletown opened Monday morning, replacing a clanging “temporary” structure amid forecasts that it might last for 75 or more years.
Though cosmetic work on the bridge will continue for several weeks, the opening – on the cusp of the summer season, and with a temporary closure of the nearby Oceanic Bridge about to begin – marked a victory against a ticking clock, Freeholder Tom Arnone told redbankgreen.
“It was all-hands-on” to get the bridge open after a five-month closure, he said.
As seen in these photos taken Sunday afternoon, the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown still has a punchlist of unfinished details, such as the installation of decorative lamps, as seen at right. Still, the span is slated to open Monday with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting on the Middletown side, Monmouth County officials said Friday.
Above is a view from the Middletown side, including a new “overheight vehicle” warning drivers of trucks and other large vehicles of the 10-foot, 11-inch trestle clearance on the Red Bank side that has claimed many a truck roof. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
An unofficial count put runner Julie Buffardi of Red Bank, above, as the fourth pedestrian to cross the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown after it was opened to pedestrians and bicyclists Saturday afternoon.
The span is slated to open Monday with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting on the Middletown side, Monmouth County officials said Friday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
After nearly five months of detours affecting thousands of commuters, the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown is slated to open Monday with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting on the Middletown side, Monmouth County officials said Friday.
A worker on the site told redbankgreen that the new span – shown at right in red, just north of the “temporary” bridge it replaces – may open to traffic on Sunday. But Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell that he was unaware of any plans for an early opening. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
Two weeks before its scheduled completion, the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown showed further signs of advancement Monday, including a sidewalk along part of the northern rim.
Monmouth County officials say the new bridge, which will replace the steel structure that’s been closed since the start of the year, will open May 17. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
With one month to go before a self-imposed completion deadline, the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown appeared to be making rapid progress last Friday. The semblance of a roadway appeared between the bridge deck and West Front Street in Middletown, above, and parapet walls that line the northern edge of the span were tied into the existing retaining wall of a residential property, as seen at right.
The existing temporary steel span that adjoins the new bridge has been closed to vehicular trafic since the start of the year, but remains open to pedestrians and bicyclists. Monmouth County officials say the new bridge will open May 17. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
Parapets similar to those on the nearby Route 35 Cooper’s Bridge were being installed on the new Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown last week, as seen from the existing temporary steel span, which has been closed since the start of the year but remains open to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Despite the harsh winter, the Monmouth County Engineer’s office still expects the new bridge, which spans the Swimming River at West Front Street, to be completed by May 16, a spokeswoman tells redbankgreen. (Photo above by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
Beginning next Monday, or thereabouts, Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown will be closed to traffic for four months as a new span, at left above, is completed, Monmouth County officials said this week. The existing steel structure, right, installed as a temporary fix a decade ago, will be dismantled for future use elsewhere, officials have said. (Click to enlarge)
See detour information and bridge factoids below, courtesy of Monmouth County (except for the cheeky last one).
The Red Bank clay courts during Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012, above. Below, a truck stuck under the West Front Street railroad trestle last week. (Photos by Peter Lindner and Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Tennis enthusiasts pelted the Red Bank council over the lack of progress on rebuilding the town’s cherished clay courts Wednesday night.
At its bimonthly meeting – conducted over the loud hum of temporary air conditioners while the borough hall HVAC system gets an upgrade – the governing body also took up issues ranging from the vexing train trestle on West Front Street to beagle rights.
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Yes, the above image is from somewhere in the wide open world we call the greater Red Bank Green. Do you recognize it? Can you tell us Where you’ve seen it? If so, or you simply want to guess, drop us an email at email@example.com, please.
Last week, Where showed you coins lying on a sidewalk. How is that a Where? Well, for starters, they’ve been there for years. Apparently bound in place by some clear epoxy or other adhesive.
It started Thursday, continues Friday and runs through Saturday. It’s the annual Little Silver Springtime Sidewalk Sale, and we’ve got six seconds of sights and sounds to whet you’re interest. (Video by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
A legal and PR battle pitting Red Bank government and business interests against the region’s dominant natural gas distributor is about to move into a new arena.
Borough officials, having lost round one in court, voted Monday night to file an appeal that they hope will stop New Jersey Natural Gas from relocating gas regulator valves from sub-sidewalk boxes to storefronts downtown.
Meantime, the town has begun issuing summonses charging the utility with doing construction work without obtaining necessary permits.
By JOHN T. WARD
Running along the front of 37-43 Monmouth Street, the century-old sidewalk is inlaid with hundreds of thick squares of purple-tinged glass arranged in neat grids.
For observant walkers, the sidewalk is curiosity underfoot. For the tenants of the building fronted by it, and whose cellars extend underneath it, the sidewalk has been a source of eerie subterranean illumination.
“The light from outside would come right in,” said Teresa Manning, business manager for Rocar Properties, which owns the building.
By JOHN T. WARD
Escalating a dispute over who gets to determine where utility equipment can be installed, Red Bank officials threw another obstacle in the way of a New Jersey Natural Gas plan to relocate unsightly gas regulators from beneath downtown sidewalks to above-ground sites.
A pair of ordinance amendments adopted by the borough council Wednesday night would require the utility, and any other developer, to obtain planning or zoning board approval for any installation that “may impact” a sidewalk.
The changes, officials insisted, were aimed at squaring the language of existing ordinances, and do not create any new hurdles. But the move comes amid a pending lawsuit and other actions in a back-and-forth that pits the borough government and business interests against the gas company.
Matt DePonti, below, reinstalls a bench on Broad Street in Red Bank last Friday after it was refurbished by his employer, Powerhouse Signworks. Seven benches that had been broken and held in storage were rebuilt, and all the others refinished, bringing the total downtown to about 40, said Powerhouse owner Jim Bruno.
Red Bank RiverCenter paid for the work, which cost just $1,000, said executive director Nancy Adams. (Click to enlarge)
The borough has been trying to get the sidewalk replacement and repaving job started for a week, but coincidentally, to the dismay of these construction workers, it didn’t begin until the hottest day so far this year.