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Study Will Probe Western Boulevard Extension in Berkeley

Study will see if road can connect to Route 9

Is there a way through the environmental minefield and diverse local interests for Western Boulevard to snake its way from Northern Boulevard to Route 9 in Berkeley Township?

The federal government is putting up $550,000 to see if such a route can be found, according to Ocean County Engineer Frank Scarantino.

What will follow is a “very controlled level of study of environmental and manmade constraints,’’ that may make extending the road impossible, he explained.

The goal is to find an alignment that meets the standards for an Ocean County road but meets the “stakeholder concerns,’’ he said. Among them is the reluctance of Lacey Township officials to move congestion on Route 9 in Beachwood and Berkeley south a few miles on the Western Blvd. extension, he said.

Other municipal officials, in the towns along the south side of the river and Berkeley have other concerns, he said.

Critters that have blocked mighty county plans in the past are in the area between the end of Western Blvd. and Route 9 in the vicinity of the Beachwood Plaza Shopping Center in Berkeley, Scarantino explained. Among them are the endangered tree frog and the pine snake.

The latter stopped plans to extend Mule Road south to Pinewald-Keswick Road in Berkeley and killed a proposal for a county golf course in Beachwood West.

Along with the materials mining operation there are wetlands and open waters to consider too, Scarantino said.

Gino De Lucia October 05, 2011 at 12:37 PM
I don't get it; these critters are free to roam about and can go wherever they want to, and they will do just that once humans make their presence~ so then~ what's the big deal? Doesn't the well-being & comfort of humans take priority over that of frogs & snakes?
billabong October 05, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Gino, I wouldn't call the continued over-development of Ocean County "comfortable" at all.
DaveL October 05, 2011 at 02:58 PM
Since there is not a Wal-Mart Supercenter planned for Beachwood Plaza, Perlmutter won't be planting any pine snakes there. That leaves the tree frog, and yes Gino, we can round them up and put them somewhere safe elsewhere on the property.
Gino De Lucia October 05, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Billabong: Whether we like it or not, Ocean County is going to continue to grow and expand, and so if we don't take action to relieve the present congestion & rush-hour traffic nightmare on Route 9 in the Beachwood/Bayville areas, it stands to reason that in the future, we'll be a lot more uncomfortable then we are now!

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