Brick officials are seeking bids to perform roadway improvements as well as the replacement of a dam and culvert in the Greenbriar I community, which was devastated by flooding during a freak rainstorm last summer.
The township council, at its meeting Tuesday, voted to seek bids for the repaving of Markham and Whitman streets in the adult community, as well as a related project to replace a dam, embankment and culvert on Whitman Street. All were damaged in the Aug. 2018 deluge – especially the dam and culvert, which partially collapsed.
The streets, like any other in town, are publicly owned and the responsibility of Brick Township. The dam and culvert, which carry the street over a private lake, is the responsibility of the homeowners association. Projects to replace both will be combined in a unique solution worked out by township, state and Greenbriar officials.
“Unfortunately, there’s no way to bifurcate the two projects,” said Township Administrator Joanne Bergin. “They are intertwined to the point where you can’t say, ‘well, we’ll just fix this because this is our responsibility’ because it would actually be irresponsible.”
Repaving the street – but not the dam underneath it – would lead to damaging the new roadway. The scenario created a bit of a quandary, but cooperation between all parties will lead to a swift solution.
“Typically, coming up with a strategy after something of that magnitude takes a lot of time, but [the state] came right down, visited the site and sat with our engineer,” said Bergin.
It was decided that the township would take the lead on both the roadway replacement as well as the dam, culvert and embankment replacement. After the project is completed, Greenbriar will receive an insurance payment that will be turned over to the township.
Bergin said the township has received a state-approved dam safety plan that will guide construction.
“We’re going to fund the project, but Greenbriar has committed to us that they will submit for insurance reimbursement, and their insurance adjuster has been participating in the dialogue,” she said. “Whatever their insurance pays the community for their portion, they will turn right over to the town.”
Mayor John Ducey said the township also included in its bid solicitation requests for pricing on the repaving of Kinsley Court, Vaughn Court, Bryant Road, Poe Road and Holmes Court.
After the storm, during which nearly eight inches of rain fell in less than two hours, many in the Brick community placed blame for the flooding on the recently-completed new Garden State Parkway interchange that is located nearby. Ocean County officials have funded a study to determine whether or not the interchange project, which it designed and oversaw, contributed to the flooding. A preliminary report was submitted to the county by an engineering firm, however County Engineer John Ernst said recently his office is still waiting on a detailed, final report that answers additional questions about the flood.