BRICK – Residents who travel Mantoloking Road will be facing two years of inconvenience while workers replace a gas main along the entire length of the county road, one section at a time.
“There will be one lane of traffic open at all times, but one lane obviously diverted,” said Mayor John G. Ducey during a recent Township Council meeting.
Representatives from the BPU (Board of Public Utilities) attended a number of Traffic Safety meetings with the township, and initially they wanted to close both lanes of traffic, he said.
“They wanted detours through neighborhoods and all sorts of things,” Ducey said. “There were all kinds of concessions made to us, because we said we’re not going to allow that.”
Resident Vic Finelli asked if the construction would continue throughout the summer months. The mayor said roadwork would only be performed Mondays through Thursdays during the summer.
“I don’t know if you travel that part of Brick very often during the summertime, like on a Friday,” Finelli said. “The slightest little problem and the traffic is backed up from the Mantoloking Bridge to Hooper Avenue. If you’re cutting it down to one lane, you’re effectively shutting off access.”
The mayor agreed that that would be the case on Mondays through Thursdays. After the gas main has been replaced, the utility company would be responsible for repaving the roadway, he added.
In other news, residents from Normandy Beach and Cherry Quay asked for an update on plans to help with flooding in their neighborhoods.
In January, the administration asked APT Engineering to come up with a strategy that would put Brick in the queue for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. APT Engineering was identified as a firm with a successful track record in projects that have resulted in FEMA funding.
The mayor said that APT Engineers asked for laser surveying data as needed for their proposal that shows the 12 areas in Brick that are at or below elevation 2.5.
He said that on February 3, he and Township Business Administrator Joanne Bergin met with staff from the governor’s office to discuss public funding for flooding mitigation efforts, and separately, Bergin participated in a meeting with FEMA NJ OEM (Office of Emergency Management) to discuss reimbursements from Sandy.
Bergin requested contacts from the NJ OEM during that meeting, that deal with mitigation for the state to get on board and help Brick with flooding issues, Ducey said.
During a February 11, meeting of the Ocean County Mayors Association, the leaders in beach-affected communities said they want to make a concerted effort to get funding and some help from the state, Ducey said.
Normandy Beach resident Robert Palmisano asked if the township council gave the engineering firm a deadline to come up with a plan.
“As long as I know, they’re working on it, and I know they’re working on it because they’ve been in touch with us regularly and often with several questions on data that they’re finding, and where they could do additional research,” Bergin said.
APT would provide the township with a proposal after they have collected the data, Bergin said.
“So, this could go on for months?” Palmisano asked.
“They are looking at all the communities,” she said. “I would prefer that they did their proposal completely, thoroughly and with data. They are gathering data; they are looking at all the communities,” Bergin said.
“We need to know exactly what we have to budget to have them do the work that we expect, which is to get us some solutions that we could design and take for funding,” she said. The 12 areas in Brick that are at or below elevation 2.5 include sections off Princeton Avenue, Bay Harbor, Cherry Quay, Baywood, Seawood Harbor, Shore Acres, Midstreams, Island Drive, VanNote, Sandy Point, Swan Point and Normandy