Route 71 pedestrian tunnel opened
Ribbon cut at Monmouth University
Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox today joined federal, state, county and local officials, and officials of Monmouth University, to cut the ribbon for the new pedestrian tunnel under Route 71 in West Long Branch, Monmouth County, on the campus of Monmouth University.
"I am pleased that we were able to work closely with Monmouth University to advance this needed safety project," Commissioner Fox said. "On a normal day, nearly 5,000 people will cross Route 71 at this location, with 12,000 vehicles using the road. Now we've separated that traffic with this aesthetically- beautiful tunnel, and everyone benefits."
The $4 million federally funded project was initiated due to a pedestrian fatality and other accidents that occurred on Route 71. The tunnel, unlike any other constructed by NJDOT, is highly-detailed using various styles, shapes and architectural features to match the characteristics of nearby campus buildings, including the Woodrow Wilson Hall, which is a National Historic Landmark.
The new tunnel is also compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and includes decorative tiles and pavers, ornamental lighting, cast stone steps, decorative retaining walls, and antique style fencing and railings. Route 71 in the area of the project was repaved, and new curbs and sidewalks were added.
Fox credited Congressman Frank Pallone and Senator Joe Palaia for their active involvement in the project, along with University and County officials.
"Without everyone's cooperation, this project would not have gotten off the ground," Fox said. "We're here today because teamwork and commitment made a difference."