Work Begins on Route 33 Freeway Extension
Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein, joined by State Senator John O. Bennett and County Freeholder Ted Narozanick today formally announced construction of the Route 33 bypass in Howell Township. When completed in December 2002, the two-lane bypass will allow motorists to stay on State Highway Route 33 and thereby reduce traffic on local and residential roads.
"Completing this "missing link" has been in the works for many years," said Weinstein. "We can all be proud of the fact that the final design of the Route 33 Freeway Extension incorporates many changes and revisions that are substantially different from what was originally envisioned. As a result, we are advancing a project that will better serve both residents and the traveling public, while preserving the habitat of an endangered species known as the Bog Turtle."
The $30 million project will extend Route 33 Freeway from the current end of the bypass at Halls Mill Road in Freehold, to where Fairfield Road meets existing Route 33 in Howell. The two-mile segment will also feature interchanges at Howell Road and Fairfield Road, as well as drainage improvements, landscaping and highway lighting and signing.
"We’re very appreciative of the efforts of Commissioner Weinstein to get this project to construction," Senator Bennett said. "The project will improve the quality of life for both residents and motorists in Monmouth County. Thirty years is a long time, but when this project is completed, the wait will have been worth it."
"I want to express my gratitude to NJDOT staff and to Commissioner Weinstein for their collective efforts to advance this project," said Freeholder Ted Narozanick. "By working cooperatively, we overcame many obstacles to develop a project that will help relieve traffic in the western portion of our county."
As part of efforts to protect a preferred bog turtle habitat, the project calls for the construction of a bridge over Burkes Creek. Additional bridges will be built over NJ Transit’s Freehold Secondary Line, Long Brook and Fairfield Road.
New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials worked with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Monmouth County and Freehold and Howell townships on project modifications. Public Information Centers were also held to gather information and commentary from residents, local officials and business owners on the project and potential impacts.
NJDOT first began acquiring Right-of-Way for the Route 33 Freeway in 1967. Construction of the last existing section, up to and including the Halls Mill Interchange where the new project has begun, was completed in 1988.
A joint venture, Rosangela Contracting Co., Inc. & Colonnelli Brothers, Inc., of Cliffwood, New Jersey was awarded the construction contract in June, 2000. The project is being funded through the State Transportation Trust Fund.