MONROE – In the wake of a fatal accident on Sept. 10, the township engineer said there are plans to improve the safety at the intersection.

Shashikant Patel, 81, of Monroe was killed when, according to a report from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Monroe Police Department, the driver of a Chevy Express van failed to yield at a stop sign at the intersection of Matchaponix Avenue and Spotswood Gravel Hill Road and collided with a Honda Civic. In addition to the fatality, 10 people were injured in the accident that remains under investigation.

traffic signal

Monroe and Middlesex County are in the final design stage to add more traffic control measures at the Spotswood Gravel Hill Road and Matchaponix Avenue, a county road, intersection. 

Township Engineer Mark Rasimowicz said this week that Monroe and Middlesex County are funding “a traffic signal improvement project at this location including signalization … This project is currently in the final stages of design, including final county approvals, state [Department of Environmental Protection] permitting and right-of-way acquisition, which are currently underway.”

DEP permits are needed because there are small pockets of wetlands close enough to the road and "we need to delineate where those are and mitigate any minor impacts," he said.

Matchaponix and Pergola avenues are County Road 612.

He also said project would include updating areas to meet ADA regulations, and pedestrian and drainage improvements. He expects the project will go out to bid sometime in 2019.

Prior to the planned upgraded traffic safety measures, Rasimowicz said the township has taken “interim” steps recommended by the police chief as a result of the accident to address the flow through the intersection and driver awareness.

He said an oversized, reflective stop signs have been added along with trimming in certain areas to improve the line of site.

As for any new details on the fatal accident, the Prosecutor’s Office said there is no additional information at this time.

The crash is being investigated by Officer Daniel Mosakowski of the Monroe Police Department and Detective Erik Larsen of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. Anyone with information can call Mosakowski at 732-521-0222, ext. 242 or Larsen at 732-745-3263.

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Christopher Lang is a freelance correspondent for MonroeNow. Previously he was part of The Record-USA Today Network and served as an editor for a decade at NJMG.