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Long-awaited, $3.4 million reconstruction of Springfield’s burned-out Ellis Block gets under way

first_imgHousing Vermont and an affiliate of the Springfield Housing Authority have partnered to redevelop Main Street’s historic Ellis Block, which was destroyed by a devastating fire on July 8, 2008. The renovated building will include a three-screen movie theatre and nine affordable apartments. During a groundbreaking ceremony at the Ellis Block in Springfield on Friday, US Senator Patrick Leahy announced he has secured a $125,000 federal appropriation to help rebuild workforce housing and a theater lost to a 2008 fire. The appropriation, finalized earlier this summer, ensured that the project could break ground.The $3.4 million reconstruction project also includes a $1.286 million federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant made possible by another Leahy-authored provision, included in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.‘In Vermont our downtowns are the heart of our communities,’ said Leahy. ‘When we lose a central part of our community ‘ whether it’s a theater, a hotel, or apartments — we lose more than bricks and mortar. The new Ellis Block will retain the historic façade that helps to define this community, it will create much-needed workforce housing, and it will bring Springfield’s downtown theater back to life.’‘This project is an outstanding example of how federal funds can be used to respond to key community needs,’ said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens. ‘Senator Leahy’s support of this project through direct appropriations and through his support of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program all-state minimum helped move this project to the finish line.’The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was created as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 to help states and communities mitigate the impacts of blighted and foreclosed properties. Leahy and Senator Bernie Sanders authored a provision of that legislation that brought Vermont $19.6 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding. Earlier this year, Leahy secured another $5 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds for Vermont as part of the Wall Street Reform Bill.Leahy secured the new $125,000 grant in partnership with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Preservation Trust of Vermont’s Village Revitalization Initiative. Since 2005, this partnership has enabled Leahy to secure more than $2 million for Vermont communities to help preserve access to and restore historic downtown buildings, including the Ellis Block and the Putney General Store. Other sources of funding for the reconstruction include $1.3 million in equity from Housing Vermont’s Green Mountain Housing Equity Fund, $403,000 from state tax credits, $25,000 from the Town of Springfield, $74,000 from Springfield Housing Unlimited, and $165,000 from the Vermont Community Development Program. William Maclay Architects redesigned the building and Ingram Construction is the general contractor. Construction will be completed in Spring 2011.During Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony, Leahy said the federal investments in the Ellis Block complemented more than $2.5 million in recent federal transportation investments he has been able to secure for Springfield’s recently completed downtown upgrades, as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.Source: Leahy’s office. SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (Friday, Sept. 3, 2010) ‘ center_img # # # # #last_img read more

New online tool gives coronavirus risk estimate for gatherings by county

first_img“You can help them form opinions and help them create really good decisions using this map.” The final factor she explains as, “For every person who is symptomatic and is showing symptoms or who been tested to be positive for COVID-19, how many other people are actually just walking around with it who haven’t been tested?” Whatever you use the tool for, Andris highlights this is an evolving project and shouldn’t be relied on as the end-all, be-all. To come to these numbers, Andris says a formula is used that factors in county population, county cases, the event size and what’s called the ascertainment bias. “Clearly if there’s a 99% chance that someone is infected at an event, it is clear that there are probably more than one person,” she explained. She explains the website estimates, by county, the chances of you interacting with at least one person who has coronavirus. “It’s a helpful tool for getting a baseline risk out there.” To use the tool, just choose how many people will be at the event, let the map refresh and find your county. Andris explains her team crafted this tool not only to help you, but help you help others. With the number of coronavirus cases constantly changing, this tool does too. The team updates virus data everyday that they get from the New York Times. Georgia Institute of Technology Professor Clio Aldris is one of the people who helped craft the tool called the ‘COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool.’ The tool doesn’t currently account for visitors, just the census population. (WBNG) — A group of professors and graduate students recently launched a new tool that provides an estimated risk of running into someone with coronavirus at a gathering.last_img read more

La palme d’or

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Defendant changes plea in wounding trial

first_img Share Share Share 165 Views   8 comments Elsa SamuelA twenty-three (23) year old man of Goodwill whose trial for wounding with intent to disfigure was scheduled to commence at the High Court of Justice on Wednesday changed his earlier not guilty plea to guilty.Kiwani Jackson reportedly “slashed the left side” of Elsa Samuel on 22nd October, 2010 at JR’s Bar and Restaurant in Roseau.According to information revealed in Court by the Director of Public Prosecutions Gene Pestaina, Samuel was at the bar in the company of two women; Nisa and Lisha Dover of Pottersville when “some young men threw food” on them. As a result of this they proceeded to the washroom to attend to their clothing.Miss Samuel attempted to access the washroom while Jackson’s companions were still using it and he told her, “my woman and them that in the toilet”.She responded, “What did that have to do with me” which apparently angered him as he became “hostile and used insulting language” therefore she told him “come out in my face.”A scuffle ensued between them during which Jackson’s spectacle fell and he told her “you want me to slice your face?”“He bent and picked up the spectacles and at the same time he pulled out a flip knife from his right pocket. The knife was silver in colour with a silver and brown handle. He pressed a button and opened the blade and …. he slashed the left side of the Complainant’s face with the knife,” Mr. Pestaina said.Kiwani JacksonPestaina stated further according to a report from Dr Rachel Andrew who treated Miss Samuel at the Casualty Department of the Princess Margaret Hospital that evening, Samuel received “a 15cm long laceration which extended from the ear across the jaw bone almost ending at the chin”. Miss Samuel received 30 stitches to her face and it is Dr. Andrew’s diagnosis that the wound will not heal without leaving a “permanent scar”.Jackson’s attorney Kondwani Williams who was also assisted by Glen Ducreay told the Court in mitigation that he was not there “to make an excuse” for his clients behavior as he deems his action on that day “reprehensible”, however he said the Court to “has a responsibility to give the young man a chance and a new beginning”.According to Williams, young people often make mistakes however it is because of “a legacy of discouragement which inflicts their minds” that they often find themselves involved in such deviant behavior.He “pleaded, begged and urged” the Court to consider both the factors in his clients favour as well as those against him and impose a fine, compensatory award to the victim as well as to visit schools to speak to students about deviant behavior.Although he informed the Court that his client had a previous matter of similar nature in 2010, he told the Court that his client is “terrified of the judicial process” and is “very contrite and apologetic for his actions on that day”. “Give him a chance and a new beginning, help him to change his life around…. so that when he passes on the Bayfront he can look at this building [court house] and say this is where I was given a chance,” Williams said.Justice Birnie Stephenson-Brooks called Miss Samuel to the witness box and after seeing the scar on her face informed Williams that she wasn’t prepared to make a compensatory award as the young lady may need cosmetic surgery.She ordered a pre sentence report from the Social Welfare Department which she instructed both Mr. Jackson and Miss Samuels to cooperate with the officials who will conduct them.Jackson will know his fate on May 31st, 2012.Dominica Vibes Newscenter_img LocalNews Defendant changes plea in wounding trial by: – May 9, 2012 Sharing is caring! Tweetlast_img read more

Sports Today: Cross Country, WMS football and volleyball results:

first_imgWELLINGTON MS CROSS COUNTRY results. TannerMeyer7.22 MEET:Chaparral hosted at Anthony Lake NEXT race: Andover MS Cross Country Meet TrinityMason8.51 CaitieWilliams1222.4927th 8th Grade Boys – 1.5 miles JacobFriesen13.32115th WELLINGTON HS CROSS COUNTRY results Date:9/16/14 JessicaWalker10.59 BayleeDeJarnett1122.528th 6th Grade1 Mile 7th Grade Girls – 1 mileTIMEPlaceMedal by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington cross country program has been busy this week with three meets including the high school Chaparral Invitational on Thursday. Wellington Middle School volleyball and football teams were in Winfield this Thursday…Wellington Cross CountryThe Wellington High school cross country team traveled to Anthony Lake Thursday. Earlier this week the sixth grade hosted a cross country meet on Wednesday and the Wellington Middle School traveled to Lake Afton Tuesday. The results for each meet are as follows:  WELLINGTON 6th Grade CROSS COUNTRY results Boys Var5KGr.TIMEPlaceMedal Girls Var4KGr.TIMEPlaceMedal ChilsonYbarra8.52 7th Grade Boys – 1 mile CabreilRoe1222.4125th MEET:Intersquad meet  – Held at Hargis  Creek Watershed LukeScheufler7.59 TannerDillon10.5568th AryanaBooth10.23 Date: Thursday, Sept.25th4 p.m.center_img JoeFriesen1123.3934th NEXT race: Oxford hosting at Winfield’s Veterans Home Wellington Middle School: Seventh grade football: Wellington 12 Winfield 6. The Knights won in the last second when quarterback Zander Vargas hit Hilt on 2 yard touchdown pass after a time consuming drive. Seventh grade is now 3-0.Eighth grade football: Winfield 14 Wellington 0Knights fell to 1-2 after getting shutout by a physical Winfield unit.Seventh grade volleyball: 7th grade A team won the match in two sets25-15 W25-18 W7th grade B team also won the match in two  sets25-21 W25-20 W“Both teams played very well and worked really hard,” said Hannah Shuck, Wellington seventh grade volleyball coach.Eighth grade volleyball: The Eighth grade A team pulled out a tough win last night in Winfield.“We struggle at the serving line with everyone on the team making foot fault errors,” said Lyndsie Oathout, Wellington eighth grade head coach. “We did have some other issues we need to address defensively in practice today before we head into our first triangular in El Dorado on Monday.“But, overall I am proud of how our girls pushed through and were able to pull out a win in two sets. Being mentally tough is a huge deal and to be able to display that last night at the middle school is impressive.”Reese Heasty and Delaney Parkey gave Winfield some difficulty with their serves. Brooke McCorkle and Jacelyn Buck had some great attacks, both with several kills last night. Chloe Wilson continues to show her strength at the net. Adrienne Norris, Ellie Buresh and Kamryn Prindle played well and had some unbelievable saves defensively. Looking forward to the triangular against El Dorado and Ark City on Monday.My 8th grade B team is look very strong going into their tournament on Saturday in Circle. We are now 3-0 on the season. Last night in Winfield Taylor Meyer and Abby Hibbs both were strong at the attack line. Kileigh Peninger and Jadyn Wolf were fantastic at the serving line, both had several ace serves. Carrie Nuss was outstanding defensively, not only in digs but at the net as well. Coach Swingle and myself are expecting great things tomorrow in Circle.Follow us on Twitter. MEET:Goddard at Lake Afton Date:9/18/14 EdenWilliamsNT ChanceHamel10.2549th PeytonWitham1127.1915thYES Girls JV4KGr.TIMEPlaceMedal JaydenStaley10.41 Date:  Tuesday, Sept.23rdRaces start at 4:00 p.m.. JoTredway1019.288thYES McKennaJones6.569thYES AlexisPatee10.19 TylerBrown6.1923rdYES Date:9/17/14 JuanChandler1123.2733rd QuinnMcCue7.5395th AbbyTredway8.14 WyattEldridge7.49 EmmaDillon8.07 TraceWitham8.18 ShelbyMcNamara1127.114thYES Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

Trevor Lawrence defends Dabo Swinney’s ‘Football Matters’ shirt; NFF to change program’s name

first_imgDabo Swinney faced criticism Saturday night when an image of him wearing a shirt that read “Football matters” started to spread on social media.The image was uploaded by Twitter user OUsooner2010, who posted it with the following caption: “Met Dabo today for the first time ever at the Reserve today and even though I went to Oklahoma for my undergrad, he really is a great dude and nice as can be. Thanks for the pic coach!” The user later deleted the tweet, explaining to another user, “[I] just don’t appreciate my family’s faces being plastered everywhere when it’s just an innocent picture that WE asked for.”It appears the tweet was deleted. Here you go. pic.twitter.com/wwcuEWZ8dh— Elika Sadeghi (@elikasadeghi) June 6, 2020MORE: Predictions for every 2020 college football bowl gameThe reason many felt the shirt was controversial is because they viewed it as an opposing message to Black Lives Matter. Rather than support that movement, some felt Swinney was making a statement by saying “Football Matters.” Others also felt that while Swinney may not have been opposing the Black Lives Matter movement with his shirt, he should have recognized the optics before wearing it.The shirt was also just another element to outrage toward Swinney as he remained silent regarding the alleged use of a racial slur by one of his assistant coaches.Dabo wearing a shirt that says 𝐅𝐨𝐨𝐭𝐛𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 on the day of the biggest 𝐁𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐋𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 protest in history, without addressing recent news concerning an assistant coach using a racial slur at practice… Yikes!— Beat 2020 (@BeatClem) June 6, 2020No, I don’t believe there was malicious intent with Dabo’s shirt. He means well. He’s a good person.Still, the level of tone deafness we’ve seen in the last ten days is alarming. A total lack of self awareness.If you’re a a Clemson fan and can’t admit this, ask yourself why.— Marc Ryan (@MarcRyanOnAir) June 7, 2020Some speculated the shirt could be in relation to the National Football Foundation (NFF), which sponsors Football Matters. Some wondered if it had something to do with Swinney’s speech in 2017 when he was speaking in front of South Carolina lawmakers.”Football matters,” Swinney said in 2017. “It matters. I tell people all the time when I go speak. Football matters. It’s one of the last great positive influences in young people’s lives. They don’t get it in their music, their social media. They don’t get it in a lot of other areas, but in the game of football, it’s still hard work.”As the tweets began to come in, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawerence decided to defend his coach by saying the shirt had nothing to with the Black Lives Matter movement. Coach Swinney’s shirt, in any way, is not mocking the Black Lives Matter movement. He has been wearing the shirt for months in meetings.— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) June 7, 2020While Lawrence’s response led to some people backing off, others still weren’t satisfied.I don’t think anyone’s saying he’s mocking BLM as much as it being tone deaf to wear right now, and a bad look given his inability to unequivocally express support where it’s needed most. It’s a shame he can’t express anything like what you eloquently did.— Elika Sadeghi (@elikasadeghi) June 7, 2020except…what’s the basis of that shirt is? it seems based on the “_____ lives matter” campaigns, which are “black lives matter” and a bunch of slogans that are intended to dismiss black lives matter.if he’s had it for months, he may have been mocking blm for months, too. https://t.co/5thVzG2WSa— bomani (@bomani_jones) June 7, 2020The NFF said in a statement Sunday on Twitter that it will change the name of Football Matters “for the 2020-21 season and beyond.”A statement from the National Football Foundation pic.twitter.com/TvyoaUEUOS— Football Foundation (@NFFNetwork) June 7, 2020This article has been updated with NFF’s statement.last_img read more

Hughes shoots 60, McIlroy makes strong start at Travelers Championship

first_imgSpieth, winless since 2017, was four under through nine holes before a mixed back nine, which included bogeys at 10 and 18.Also in a tie for 33rd is Abraham Ancer, who produced the shot of the day with a hole-in-one at the 16th.My first ACE on the @PGATOUR today! Lezzgoo! Too bad cameras weren’t on for the shot. #TeamAncer @TravelersChamp pic.twitter.com/A3ozsccENS— Abraham Ancer (@Abraham_Ancer) June 25, 2020Meanwhile, former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson opened with a first-round 69, two shots better off than countryman Justin Thomas. The Canadian, who has struggled since returning from the coronavirus-enforced break, made six birdies on his first nine holes before picking up shots at the second, sixth, seventh and eighth holes.Hughes is three shots clear of world No. 1 McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Viktor Hovland.McIlroy mixed an eagle and six birdies with just a single bogey to start with a seven-under 63.A 7-under 63 for @McIlroyRory in Round 1 @TravelersChamp.Highlights from his first round: pic.twitter.com/3sHpx62l54— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 25, 2020While Hughes is well clear, the rest of the leaderboard is congested, with another six players a shot further back in a tie for fifth.Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Michael Thompson, Tyler Duncan, Noh Seung-yul and Louis Oosthuizen opened with 64s.Jordan Spieth made a solid start with a three-under 67, to be alongside Jason Day and Justin Rose among others. Mackenzie Hughes carded a brilliant 10-under 60 to lead the Travelers Championship as Rory McIlroy made a strong start.Hughes holed 10 birdies in the first round at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut to open up a three-stroke lead on Thursday.last_img read more

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg tests positive for COVID

first_imgPalm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg has tested positive for the coronavirus.Aronberg sent an email to his office urging everyone to “take this pandemic seriously, as it continues to spread like wildfire.” Aronberg then added that he himself, has tested positive for the virus.He then went on to say that he is one of the lucky ones because he has minor symptoms which allows him to continue his work from home while in quarantine.While Aronberg says he tried to remain healthy by washing his hands and following social distancing practices,  his job often requires him to be in public and he lives in a building with shared elevators.The State Attorney’s office  says they are now in the process of notifying anyone who may have been in contact with Aronberg and following other coronavirus related sanitizing measures.“My diagnosis has made me more motivated than ever to continue imploring people to wear a mask, as it is about protecting others,” Aronberg said.last_img read more

Former Holy Cross Pastor Dies At 67

first_imgBy John Burton : Once beloved pastor, Rev. Joseph Hughes, suffered public fall from grace in 2004 RUMSON — The former pastor of Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, whose career there ended in a criminal conviction and prison, died last week.The Rev. Joseph W. Hughes, 67, died on March 7 at Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank, according to the John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank.The cause of death was not available but Hughes had suffered from a number of health concerns including diabetes and morbid obesity.Hughes was pastor of Holy Cross Church and elementary school from 1988 until his 16-year career came to an abrupt end following his arrest in 2004. Hughes gained notoriety for a lavish lifestyle including frequently dining out at the area’s most exclusive and expensive restaurants and regular trips to sold out Broadway plays, was arrested and eventually indicted on 27 counts charging him with embezzling $2 million of church funds.The money, law enforcement authorities said at the time, was used to pay for his lifestyle and to support a then 25-year-old male friend, who worked for the parish, and for whom Hughes purchased a luxury car, vacations and other expensive gifts.Hughes pleaded guilty to three of the counts, acknowledging stealing more than $75,000 from church coffers from 1997 to 2004. The  court ordered him to reimburse the church and to pay $120,000 in back state taxes.He received a five-year prison sentence and served 180 days.Hughes was born in New York City, received a Master’s in Divinity from St. Mary’s University, Baltimore, Maryland, and was ordained as a priest in May 1970 at St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church, Keansburg.Before coming to Rumson, he had been a principal of Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, and had served in parishes in Phillipsburg, Toms River and Middlesex.Rayanne Bennett, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Trenton said this week, “May he rest in peace.”“I am saddened by the news of his passing,” said Michael Pappa, a Hazlet lawyer who represented Hughes. “I believe he was truly a good man. His fall from grace is well documented, but I know he loved being a priest and he was always willing to help people in a time of need.”He is survived by a brother and sister and their families. His funeral was held at St. Ann’s last Saturday and he was interred at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Middletown, according to the funeral home.last_img read more

Proposed SB – Rumson Bridge Will Impact Nearby Businesses

first_imgBy John BurtonThe proposed choice for the replacement of the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge was met with a cool reception but eventual acceptance by local officials. It could, however, mean the loss – or at least relocation – of a couple of Sea Bright businesses.Members of the public, Monmouth County and state officials and those they are labeling stakeholders, including local officials, attended an Oct. 4 session to discuss the plan to replace the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge. After studying eight options, the plan to construct a new movable drawbridge was chosen. The proposal calls for a bridge alignment that would be 10 feet south of the existing bridge.The present span extends from Rumson Road eastward across the Shrewsbury River connecting with Sea Bright and Ocean Avenue/Route 36 running north and south.The decision of which proposal to choose was made by a consulting engineering firm, Monmouth County engineers and representatives from various state departments following a series of meetings in Rumson and Sea Bright that began in February, according to Martine Culbertson, the contracted community involvement facilitator for the project.The plan calls for the bridge to have sidewalks, shoulders and designated bicycle paths, features that members of the public said they wanted, said Bruce Riegel, project manager for Hardesty and Hanover, LLC, an engineering firm contracted for the project.The existing bridge could continue to operate while the new one is being constructed.But having the bridge built just south of the current one would mean officials will have to acquire a commercial property. The site, 1002-1006 Ocean Ave., is the location of a Dunkin’ Donuts and the Sea Bright Service Center, a gas station and repair shop.“They would look to relocate that business,” Culbertson told Sea Bright representatives present, including Mayor Dina Long and council members William J. Keeler, Marc Leckstein and C. Read Murphy.The borough officials were troubled by the loss of a business in their community.“There’s no place to relocate a Dunkin’ Donuts or a gas station in Sea Bright,” Leckstein said. “They’re gone.”“It’s a bridge replacement but it’s an important component for both communities,” Culbertson acknowledged. She said that if the choice moves forward, every effort would be made to accommodate the businesses.The site owner, John Regan, 85, of Oceanport, said his father bought the property more than 60 years ago. While he has kept tabs on the various proposals for a new bridge, no one has informed him about the proposed design chosen by the panel.“It makes no difference to me whether they buy it or not. If they want my property and have enough money, buy it,” he said.Regan disagrees with the proposed plan. He feels the bridge should be constructed on the northern side of the existing one and should be a fixed span bridge. A drawbridge, he said, simply snarls road traffic during the summer. “The whole town of Sea Bright suffers,” he said.The location has had a gas station there going back to the late 1920s, according to Regan.Attempts to contact the service station owner were unsuccessful.The Dunkin’ Donuts, next to the gas station, has been there for a little more than nine years, said its owner, Dominic Sequeira, when reached by phone. He also has not been contacted about this proposal and what it would mean for his business.“If it happens and that’s the way it’s going to go, we’ll see what happens and what our options are,” said Sequeira, whose franchise agreement limits his ability to make public comments.During the Oct. 4 meeting, those involved in the project said they had rejected options, like a fixed span bridge because the public comments were strongly opposed to it. That plan would also increase construction costs. Other proposals would have a temporary bridge erected while the old one was dismantled and a new one built.Another rejected option called for the old bridge to be taken down and traffic detoured for approximately two years while the new bridge is built. That proposal was met with fierce resistance from much of the public and local officials, Reigel said.Initially, local officials from Sea Bright and Rumson Administrator Tom Rogers weren’t happy with the preferred plan.“You guys are not listening to what we said,” Rogers told those working on the project.A new bridge should be constructed to allow for four lanes of traffic – two each way – to keep it moving during the busy summer months, he said.The bridge is designed for two lanes, but local officials noted in reality it operates as four with the shoulder.Sea Bright Councilman Murphy reiterated a longstanding complaint about a state ban on turning right on red for those who want to go south on Ocean Avenue after crossing the bridge. The State Department of Trans­portation currently prohibits it and has been reluctant to change it, citing safety concerns.“Our town is a parking lot, a parking lot all summer and that’s because of the Rumson Bridge,” Murphy said.“There’s all kinds of problems with the traffic pattern,” Rogers agreed.Reconfiguring the design, especially to expand the bridge to allow four lanes, and to redo Ocean Avenue to allow for additional right- and left-turn lanes, would add costs to the project, Culbertson said.With that in mind, Rumson and Sea Bright officials huddled and agreed to accept the preferred option as the best plan. “What we were asking probably wouldn’t go forward,” Rogers acknowledged.“I’ve been saying all along replacing this bridge is a good thing,” Long said later, with a hint of irony in her voice, but acknowledging it has to be done given its current state.The bridge’s overall condition is “serious,” Riegel said, beyond the point of being able to simply repair it. “Ultimately if the condition isn’t addressed, the bridge will have to close.”The project will be paid for with federal transportation funds. Tentative plans call for construction to begin in April 2016 and take about two years to complete.Representatives plan on conducting a public input session in November, before any final decision is made about the design, Culbertson said. No date has been selected.last_img read more