Beach, Park Projects Move Forward In Brick

Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn

BRICK – Beach replenishment at the southern end of the township is complete except for access points at 6th, 7th, and 8th Avenues in the Normandy Beach area, which still need to be constructed, said Mayor John G. Ducey at a recent Township Council meeting.

Pump crews are demobilizing at Brick Beach 3 and would be moving north towards Brick Beaches 2 and 1, he said. Replenishment began when workers started setting up the pipes there on April 7.

Workers would be fencing off 1,000 feet of beach to close off the area that is being replenished, but beaches will remain open during construction.

This map shows what Bernie Cooke Park is projected to look like. (Rendering courtesy Brick Township)

“Now there are two boats which are moving quickly,” Ducey said. “They can do 100 to 200 feet a day, so we want everyone to be aware that sections of the beach will be closed for a period of time.”

The Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) said that the Brick beaches should be complete by August 16, but the mayor noted that the trend has been that for every week, the boats get backed up three days.

“So it’s probably more likely to be done by September 7,” he said.

Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn

In March 2017, the ACE announced the construction schedule for the beach replenishment project (that stretches from the Manasquan Inlet to Island Beach State Park) with Brick construction scheduled to start in December 2017 and finishing in March 2018.

Weeks Marine of Cranford, NJ was contracted for the 14-mile-long, $128 million project, one of the nation’s biggest beach replenishment projects to date.

An estimated 11 million cubic yards of sand would be dredged for the project, with an estimated 1.6 million cubic yards needed for Brick beaches.

The dredger/hopper ships, which dredge the sand from one of the designated offshore “borrow sites,” pump the sand and slurry mix through a pipeline to the beach where it is screened for military munitions that might have been sitting on the ocean floor after being dumped at sea. The ships carry around 2,500 cubic yards per trip.

In other news, Precise Construction Inc. of Freehold won the bid to rebuild Bernard J. Cooke Park in the amount of $1,613,668. The bids ranged as high as $2,117,000, Ducey said.

The park is located at the end of Burnt Tavern Road, behind the Wawa by Garden State Parkway entrance 91. The administration waited until the Parkway improvements were completed before beginning the park renovation.

Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn

The scope of the work includes parking lot improvements, a concrete skate park, basketball courts, age-specific playgrounds, a multi-purpose softball field, concrete patio areas, walkways, lighting and electrical improvements, an irrigation system and associated well and other site improvements.

A unique feature of the improved Bernie Cooke Park is the construction of a concrete “trike path,” a safe, designated space complete with road signs to teach toddlers the rules of the road.

The cost of park upgrades would partly be funded by a Green Acres Grant. According to township grant writer Tara Paxton, a $1 million grant was awarded to offset the cost of improvements to Birchwood Park (completed), Bernie Cooke Park and Bayside Park on the barrier island.

Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn

“We are Urban Aid, so our grant is 75% state funded ($1 million) and 25% local match ($250,000),” Paxton wrote in an email.

When improvements to Bernie Cooke are completed, the township can submit for full reimbursement on the cost of just that park and use all the funding, she said.

“Since Birchwood is complete, we can also use that total expenditure and some of Bernie Cooke to make our match,” Paxton wrote. “Either way, between the two parks, we will use all the funds.”

And finally, Ducey said that Earle Asphalt Company of Farmingdale was selected for the roadway improvements to Birchwood Park Phase 2 project. Six companies submitted bids that ranged in amounts of the awarded bid of $593,013 to $779,977, he said.

The project consists of resurfacing Orangewood Drive, Orangewood Court, Elmwood Drive, Elmwood Court, Elmwood Place, Oakwood Drive, Sprucewood Drive and Larchwood Drive.