BERKELEY – The park previously known as Berkeley Island County Park won several awards for its engineering, county officials reported.
The park had been a local secret, found at the end of Brennan Concourse, accessible from Harbor Inn Road. Superstorm Sandy destroyed it in 2012. The park lay fallow after that, as local residents asked for years when would the park be rebuilt.
Last year, it was thoroughly rebuilt, re-opened to the public, and rechristened John C. Bartlett Jr. County Park at Berkeley Island. Features included the county’s first spray park, gazebos, restrooms, a 100-foot pier, and a covered pavilion with a brick-faced charcoal grill. It was made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The combination of form and function was recognized the following ways:
- The American Council of Engineering Companies of New Jersey Grand Honor Award in the Non-Transportation Category. This award is for consulting engineering firms whose efforts demonstrate both superior skill and the highest degree of creativity in projects benefitting the public.
- The American Council of Engineering Companies National Recognition Award, which is a prestigious distinction honoring projects that represent exceptional achievement in engineering and that have earned top awards for excellence in their state.
- The Engineering News Record – New York’s regional Best Project in the Small Project category. This is for projects in New Jersey as well as New York, judged on safety, innovation, quality, functionality, aesthetic and teamwork.
Engineers from T&M Associates and Barlo & Associates designed the park redevelopment and buildings, strengthening them to withstand future storms.
“I am very proud of all the effort that went into rebuilding this park and to the pioneering approach that will allow it to function for years to come,” Freeholder Director Virginia Haines said in a press release. “I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the driving force behind rebuilding and returning this park back to our residents and visitors.
“Without Freeholder John C. Bartlett Jr.’s vision and firm belief that this park was priceless in so many ways, the current discussion may be different,” Haines said. “He would have been so proud of this recognition.”
Since the park fell once to a storm, the designers had to figure out a way to have it survive future storms. The answer was a mix of engineering and natural techniques in creating a living shoreline.
This environmental approach helped bring native wildlife to the area. It might have worked a bit too well. A local scout troop had to help install goose fencing to keep those birds from eating the new plantings, the county reported.