Does the Evergreen Woods community in Brick deserve a sound wall?
Its residents say yes, but the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, for several years, has insisted the community does not qualify for a wall. After a recent meeting, however, the residents have found an ally in Ocean County officials.
The residents are seeking a 1,389 foot barrier wall. The state has offered to plant a 200 foot-long row of of trees.
The authority claims the neighborhood, where condominium units are located feet from the southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway, doesn’t qualify for a physical wall, but residents have said the state agency has used technicalities to get out of providing the barrier, which they contend would reduce noise and pollution that has increased since the shoulders were widened and thousands of trees were removed.
Ocean County Administrator Carl Block said Wednesday that the county’s engineering office has submitted a formal request to the state, asking for a new sound study to be conducted.
“The previous study was conducted before they widened the Parkway,” Block said.
The letter went out to the Turnpike Authority earlier this week.
Michele Spector, an Evergreen Woods resident, said this week that the state’s landscaper had come in and marked the locations where the trees will be planted, but the word seems to have been completed in a haphazard manner, and without notification being given to the community’s leaders.
“They just came on and put stakes out there,” Spector said, adding that some of the trees were as much as 13 feet apart from others. “Some areas are sparse and some areas are dense.”
Joanne Bergin, Brick township’s business administrator, said township officials provided a significant amount of documentation to the county over the past week to help bolster the neighborhood’s case in being approved for a sound wall.