Wait No More, 34th Street Bridge Project Nearly Done

first_imgBy Donald WittkowskiWhenever the traffic lights on the 34th Street Bridge turn red, an electronic message sign warns drivers that they will have to wait up to five minutes.The frustration of being stuck there for so long is exacerbated when the sign begins counting down, second by agonizing second, during the final minute.“Sixty, 59, 58, 57 …”The wait seems interminable until the countdown hits zero and the light finally flashes green, allowing motorists to get underway again.Drivers have had to tolerate these delays for the last two years while the 54-year-old bridge connecting Ocean City with Marmora in Upper Township has been under construction as part of a $6.6 million refurbishment of its road deck.But soon, the bridge project will be finished once and for all, which means the lane restrictions and concrete construction barriers will disappear. The two temporary traffic signals that have been placed on the bridge to control the flow of vehicles during the construction work will be gone, too – for good.“The red light on the bridge is starting to fade,” Cape May County Engineer Dale Foster said figuratively of the project’s imminent completion.Temporary red lights are at both ends of the bridge to control the flow of vehicles through one lane of alternating traffic.Foster said the construction barriers will be removed during the week of April 16. The remaining part of the bridge work is scheduled to be completed by early May.“It means that the delays and extra times that motorists have had to deal with for the last two years will finally be over,” said Fourth Ward Councilman Bob Barr, who represents the southern part of Ocean City, including the area surrounding the 34th Street Bridge.Built in 1964, the 34th Street Bridge is the most heavily traveled span owned by Cape May County, used by an average of 20,000 vehicles each day, Foster said.It is a vital entryway into the south end of Ocean City along the Roosevelt Boulevard-34th Street corridor. It is the second-busiest gateway into Ocean City, behind the state-owned Route 52 Causeway-Ninth Street Bridge in the center of town.During the rehabilitation project, construction crews refurbished or replaced the bridge’s old spans to smooth out the formerly pockmarked and pitted concrete deck. Now, motorists drive across a much smoother and safer surface.“It wasn’t good for your car. It was a bumpy ride. Not only was it a bumpy ride, it wasn’t safe,” Barr said of the bridge’s old surface.Traffic gets backed up on the bridge waiting for the lights to change from red to green.As the construction work begins to wrap up, Barr praised Foster for delivering the bridge project on schedule and under budget.“He’s done a good job in making sure that he hit his deadline,” Barr said. “I’m sure the residents will appreciate it. I certainly appreciate it.”Now that the bridge project is nearly done, Barr wants Foster and the county to next give the 34th Street entranceway into Ocean City a facelift. Barr has been lobbying to have the county-owned corridor beautified with new landscaping and other improvements.“I do believe everybody is open to doing something there,” Barr said.The bridge’s two-year overhaul, meanwhile, was done in stages largely during the winter months of 2017 and 2018 to avoid traffic disruptions during the peak summer tourism season.Motorists crossing over the bridge have had to navigate through a gauntlet of concrete barriers, narrow lanes, traffic lights and flashing road signs that bluntly warn them, “Be prepared to stop.”A sign on the Ocean City side of the bridge warns motorists of delays during construction.Construction was choreographed to keep the span open during the work, although there have been some overnight closings. Traffic gets stacked up as cars are squeezed through alternating, single lanes of traffic and while waiting for the stop lights to turn green.Foster said the red lights cause wait times of between four and five minutes. He acknowledged that during rush hour, the delays are frustrating to motorists.However, the patience-testing commutes over the bridge will be a thing of the past, once the traffic lights are removed and the construction is completed.“The light is starting to shine at the end of the tunnel,” Foster said. A two-year overhaul of the 34th Street Bridge linking Ocean City and Marmora is nearing completion.last_img read more

Seniors discern futures, pursue religious life

first_imgAfter founding the Congregation of the Holy Cross, Blessed Basil Moreau, along with other priests and brothers, landed in southern Indiana in 1841. The group trekked to South Bend in 1842, where they cleared the trees, dredged the lake to create two and began creating “brother bricks” in the river, Fr. Neil Wack, director of vocations for the Congregation of the Holy Cross, said.“This University was built on the blood, sweat and tears of the Holy Cross brothers, and also the priests,” Wack said. “[Moreau] had the idea of being the family of the Holy Cross under one founder, Blessed Fr. Moreau, with his charism, ‘educate the mind and the heart, but never educate the mind at the expense of the heart.’”Though many students pass Corby Hall and Moreau Seminary — two buildings used by the successors of the brothers who laid the bricks of several buildings on campus — without even knowing what they are used for, the buildings hold deep significance to seniors such as Ryan Kerr and Brian Vetter. Kerr and Vetter plan to enter religious life after graduation with the Congregation of Holy Cross.For a year following Commencement, Kerr, Vetter and others will enter a year of formation with the Congregation of the Holy Cross. The year of formation is a time in which those who are called to religious life take classes, pray and further discern their vocations, Wack said.In order to be accepted, Kerr and Vetter, as well as other applicants, underwent a vigorous orientation process. The process includes a lengthy application, interviews, psychological evaluations and a spiritual autobiography in the vein of St. Augustine’s confessions, Wack said.“We ask that they come and see for a weekend to see what life is like in the community, go to class, go to mass, go to prayer and just to hang out and see if this feels like home, a community where you can live and die with,” he said.Wack said Notre Dame prepares men and women entering religious life and way of thought through the theology and philosophy requirements, and — perhaps more importantly — the environment.“Our charism is ‘educators of the faith, educators of the hearts,’” he said. “A big part of how we do that is by living where we work … we live with the students, which is kind of unusual. … We get the opportunity to serve in a different way, they get the opportunity to experience the religious life and the priesthood in a different way and see us as being something more than far away, unapproachable and — heaven forbid — uninteresting.”Kerr, who majored in theology and English with minors in constitutional studies and business economics, lived in his dorm, Keough Hall, for all four years as an undergraduate. Kerr said he has been in touch with the Holy Cross vocations director sine his sophomore year of high school.“I went back and forth between religious life and married life and different kinds of religious life,” he said. “For a long time I thought I would be in a more contemplative order — a Benedictine community.”However, his experiences in his dorm, namely with his rector, Fr. Pat Reidy, and Wack — who has lived in Keough for the last two years — gave him a greater understanding of Holy Cross and helped him realize his calling more fully, Kerr said.Kerr and Reidy both moved into Keough in the same year, when Reidy had not yet been ordained a deacon. Kerr was able to see Reidy take his final vows with Holy Cross, Kerr said, as well as witness him perform his ministries as rector.“One hundred and fifty of us were at his ordination, and I think that that sparked something really significant for me that I couldn’t replace,” Kerr said.Noting that the Catholic culture and dorm community on campus had the biggest impact on the realization of his vocation, Kerr said the education he received in his undergraduate years at Notre Dame has been equally beneficial in preparation.“Being in the theology department, some things really changed my spiritual life that I learned in class,” he said. “And within the English major, I was able to learn to engage in things that I wasn’t used to, in a way that I wasn’t used to and articulate myself in a new way.”Members of the Congregation of the Holy Cross live in community wherever they work, Wack said, be it a soup kitchen or a university such as Notre Dame. Kerr said this aspect of it drew him to the congregation.“Holy Cross is known for its fraternity and community — for Holy Cross, it’s kind of like their hallmark,” Kerr said. “I ended up being drawn in by that and realized that God had been working through my life pretty actively, through my stubbornness to get me here. Even just wanting to go to Notre Dame was part of God calling me to [the] Holy Cross community. When I was 10, I decided I was going to Notre Dame, and I kind of lived my life to that end.”The fraternity that attracted Kerr to the community also appealed to Vetter, who majored in science pre-professional studies and theology, and has lived in Alumni Hall for the past four years, which he said greatly influenced his decision to join the congregation.“I wouldn’t be joining Holy Cross without the awesome community of Alumni Hall,” Vetter said. “Throughout my discernment, I realized that my most authentically joyful moments have taken place when I have been in community with my Alumni Hall brothers. For four years I have lived with a large group of guys who — because of our strong emphasis on community and identity — manage to accept and love one another in the midst of our flaws and wide-ranging personalities and lifestyles.”Vetter said this community taught him more about himself and how to live his own life.“This has taught me how to love, and has drawn out my best self,” he said. “I’ve learned that this is a charism that flows directly from the religious life of Holy Cross. If I want to be my best self and cultivate a close relationship with God, I need a strong community to support me.”Echoing Kerr, Vetter spoke of his discerning process and time at Notre Dame as an overall positive experience, and advised all students to keep an open mind about their vocations.“Discerning a vocation to the priesthood has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but it has been an experience of profound joy,” he said. “The more I have opened my heart to it, the more peace and joy I have experienced. So be open and never forget to pray for an open heart, because without prayer it won’t be possible.”Tags: Alumni Hall, Community, Congregation of the Holy Cross, Keough Hall, priesthood, religious life, vocationslast_img read more

Young people are misunderstood

first_imgLocalNews Young people are misunderstood by: – August 9, 2011 Share Sharing is caring! Share 331 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Tweet Chief Youth Officer, Mr. Jules PascalJules Pascal, the Chief Youth Officer in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, while addressing a symposium on ‘Youth and Violence’ yesterday disclosed to the participants that they are often misunderstood.Mr. Pascal explained that it is not a new thing for youths to be misunderstood, as adults who are supposed to assist them in this difficult period of their lives do not understand the process.“I can tell you it is not only now that young people are misunderstood. I want to quote to you from an article which was written 500 B.C; that’s 500 years Before Christ, that’s a long time ago by a gentleman who was known as a Philosopher  at the time his name was Socrates and he said; ‘Our youth today love luxury, they have bad manners, contempt for authority, disrespect for older people, children nowadays are tyrants, they no longer rise when elders enter the room, they contradict their parents, they chatter before company, they gobble their food and they tyrannize their teachers.’ What do people say about our youth today? Some of the same things,” he said.Mr. Pascal, in emphasizing his point that young people are misunderstood, also quoted from an article which was printed in the Melbourne newspaper in 1976 by William Bradwick, in which the author described teenagers as ‘the ugliest form of humanity on earth.’Mr. Pascal however believes that although violence is grown and developed within society, it can be controlled.“The situation of violence is an age thing, you heard violence long before, I heard violence, my parents heard about violence, and my parents, parents heard about violence and I dare say we will continue to hear about violence because violence is a thing that is grown and developed within society. We may not be able to stop it but we can control it,’ Pascal said.The Youth Symposium was organized by the Caribbean Award Sub-Regional Council and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture held a symposium on Youth and Violence at the Public Service Training Center yesterday in an attempt to address the increasing rate of violence among youth in Dominica and the Caribbean Region.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Linden schools make clean sweep of National Jump Rope Championship

first_img… Adriell Wilson, Janee Greene most outstandingIT was expected, but what wasn’t known was how dominant the Linden-based schools would have been at the inaugural National Skip to My Lou – Jump Rope Championship, which wrapped up yesterday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.Amidst loud continuous cheers and chants, the schools from the Mining Town of Linden dominated the ‘first of its kind’ championship in Guyana and it wasn’t even a close contest for schools from the other regions.In the ‘Fusion’ Primary category, Regma Primary totalled 135 points to win ahead of Christianburg Primary (127) and Kabakaburi Primary (88). Mackenzie High School took the Secondary category, scoring 148 points and finishing 14 points clear of fellow Linden side Christianburg/Wismar Secondary (134) while Region 2-based Wakapoa Secondary were impressive enough to finish third with 118 points.Regma Primary’s Janee Greene outclassed the rest of the competition to win the Individual Freestyle title in the Primary category, but saw stiff competition from Christianburg Primary’s Shaneeza Outar who came in second. Third place went to Ashley Simon of Fort Ordnance Primary.Christianburg Primary’s Shaneeza Outar during her performance. (Delano Williams photos)Mackenzie High’s Adriell Wilson, who represented Guyana at this year’s World Jump Rope Championship in Miami, wowed the crowd with his moves to win the Secondary Individual Freestyle. Courtley Anderson of Richard Ishmael Secondary copped second, and President College’s Anessa Haywood was third.Wilson returned and showed off his stamina to win the ‘Last Man Standing’ category, defeating Revan Le Fleur of President’s College, who lasted 22 minutes 20 seconds. Wismar Christianburg Secondary’s Shalannis Williams was third with a time of 18 minutes 16 seconds.Greene (17:24) once again defeated Outar (17:16) in the Primary category of the Last Man Standing, and Shazim Hamid was third (8:20).Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr George Norton, thanked the students for putting on an unforgettable show. He congratulated participants of Linden for returning to Linden with almost all the prizes.Dr Norton stated that as Minister of Social Cohesion, having the responsible for Sport in Guyana, he would do whatever it takes to ensure the longevity of the unique championship, while opening his doors to help set up the National Jump Rope Federation, which will ensure that Guyana’s talent in the sport is seen by the wider world through overseas participation.Apart from trophies, the top performers for both the individual and team categories were all recipients of laptops, compliments of the Ministry of Telecommunications, E-Governance.last_img read more