EATONTOWN: There will be a time when motorists will be able to travel through Fort Monmouth's Main Post area, but it is likely a few years away.
The possibility of extending Route 537 (Tinton Avenue) through the fort from the Eatontown main gate on Route 35 and gate on Oceanport Avenue will have to wait until the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) gains ownership of more fort property.
"The status of the streets on the Main Post is tied to the ongoing discussions relating to the Phase 2 Economic Development Conveyance (EDC)," FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman told Word on the Shore this week. "Public use of the Main Post streets is not possible until after ownership has passed from the Army to FMERA."
The Main Post is the area of Fort Monmouth between the Oceanport Avenue and Route 35 entrances.
FMERA has been negotiating with the Army to gain control of the area for months, and the exact timeline for when an agreement is reached is not clear.
The FMERA board is expected to take action on a resolution would allow their staff to proceed with real estate and contract negotiations with the Army for Phase 2.
Phase 1 of the EDC was transferred from the Army to FMERA in 2012 and includes all the Fort Monmouth property in Tinton Falls and the Eatontown portion of the Fort west of Route 35 including the Howard Commons area and Suneagles Golf Course.
Monmouth County Engineer Joe Ettore has said the county has plans to extend Route 537 through the fort as a "main collector road" once the fort develops and more businesses begin to open there.
Ettore has said it would help relieve congestion in the area.
The county filed a notice of intent for the project with the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority (FMERPA), now known as FMERA, several years ago, and would require approval from the authority to extend the road.