Brick Township officials said Tuesday night that they have reached at least some agreement with officials from New Jersey Natural Gas and Ocean County on the construction schedule for Mantoloking Road during the busy summer months.
“Mantoloking Road has two years of construction in front of it,” said Mayor John Ducey. Just after it was paved by the county, NJNG started work involved digging “investigative test pits” in order to generate a 3D map of the underground environment, according to county officials. Those tests revealed that work was required on the gas lines underneath the roadway. Work has continued on the road ever since, sometimes generating traffic jams, and the township hopes to keep delays to a minimum during the summer, when motorists often find themselves backed up for miles.
Unfortunately, the roadwork will continue into the summer months, Ducey said. Construction will be allowed Monday through Thursday during the summer, the mayor said, but some “concessions” were made by NJNG.
“They wanted a detour – both lanes closed and traffic through neighborhoods – and we said no way.” said Ducey. “There were all kinds of concessions made to us because we were not going to stand for it.”
Ducey and other officials have been critical of the project, especially since the roadwork began just after it was freshly paved by the county. Ocean County officials have said they needed to complete a resurfacing regardless of the NJNG work because the road would have failed by the end of the gas utility’s project.
The news did not sit well with some residents.
“The slightest little problem, and you have the traffic backed up from the bridge to Hooper Avenue,” said Vic Fanelli.
The good news is that NJNG will be required to repave the road – again – once the work is completed.
NJNG is in the middle of a long-term contract with the county to perform the work, which is expected to last at least through 2020.