A popular bicycle path in Brick is due for an expansion, but construction has been delayed due to unforeseen issues with easements, officials said.
The township council on Tuesday passed a resolution requesting the state Department of Transportation grant an extension of the deadline by which Brick was required to use $200,000 in funding for the project. The grant was awarded in 2016 and expired March 31, 2018, but officials say the funding remains available. The plan is to extend the length of the bike path by 1.08 miles.
Business Administrator Joanne Bergin said the township faced delays after workers found sewerage pipelines belonging to the Ocean County Utilities Authority were in the area where the path was to be expanded. The bike path extension will not disturb the pipelines, but Brick needs to obtain easements from the county to do work on their land.
Council President Heather deJong said the township will “coordinate easements” with OCUA as part of the project’s design phase. Bergin said she did not have an estimated timeline as to when the easement issues will be ironed out and construction can begin.
The proposed expansion would increase the length of the path by 1.08 miles, and connect the path near Hooper Avenue to Cherry Quay Road, plus allow bicyclists to transit through Angela Hibbard Park to the main trail.
Brick maintains two bicycle trails – the Airport Tract trail in the southern portion of town and the Sawmill Tract trail in the northern portion of town. Township officials have said their long-term desire is to continue to expand the Airport Tract trail all the way to the Mantoloking Bridge, allowing for easier bicycle access to the barrier island and beach areas.
The airport tract is so named because it runs through the site where an airport existed from the early 1940s to 1959. It was known as Ocean County Airport, Osbornville Airport and Huppert’s Airport while active.