Brick officials have come through on a plan, nearly a decade in development, to outfit traffic signals at more than two-dozen major intersections with backup generators. The generators would keep the lights operational during natural disasters as well as routine power outages.
“After Sandy, we were basically the only town around that put generators up to traffic lights,” said Mayor John Ducey.
The plan was hatched during the emergency by the township’s former police chief, Rick Bergquist, and after the storm, officials began looking into the feasibility of permanently implementing generators. There were some complications, however – most prominently being the fact that Brick Township does not actually own a single traffic light in town. All are either under state or county control. The 26 intersections included in the program are all under county jurisdiction, since the county agreed to the upgrades.
In addition to the obvious safety aspect of keeping traffic signals up and running, there have always been concerns about the manpower required to manage traffic across town while first responders are simultaneously being called for rescues and other matters during natural disasters.
“We’ve always been looking to get these generators permanently installed, so if there’s a big event or even a small event, we don’t have to dedicate so many of our police officers to traffic control,” Ducey said.
This week, the township council voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with Ocean County to allow the use of battery backups and generator bypass switches at 26 intersections. Passed in the form of a shared services agreement with the county, the township agreed to purchase, supply and maintain the generators, and share the cost of the backend upgrades. The county will undertake the work needed to effectuate the project, and the township will reimburse the county.
The 26 units are not generators themselves – the township already owns several – but ports that are retrofitted onto the box that controls the traffic signal to allow an outside power source.
The project was funded in Brick’s 2022 capital budget, however the final cost will be determined once bids are solicited and a contract awarded by the county.
The 26 intersections included in the program are:
• Brick Blvd. / Chambers Bridge Rd.
• Mantoloking Rd. / Cedar Bridge Ave. / (Old Hooper)
• Brick Blvd. / Cedar Bridge Ave. / Jackson Ave.
• Burnt Tavern Rd. / Lanes Mill Rd.
• Brick Blvd. / Beaverson Blvd.
• Drum Point Rd. / Hooper Ave.
• Herbertsville Rd. / Sally Ike Rd.
• Herbertsville Rd. / Lanes Mill Rd.
• Brick Blvd. / Old Hooper / Molly Ln.
• Cedar Bridge Ave. / Aurora Pl.
• Chambers Bridge Rd. / Municipal Complex
• Burrsville Rd. / Jack Martin Blvd.
• Chambers Bridge Rd. / Sprucewood Dr.
• Beaverson Blvd. / Shorrock St. / Old Toms River Rd.
• Lanes Mill Rd. / GSP Entrance 91
• Burrsville Rd. / GSP Exit 91
• Drum Point Rd. / Cherry Quay Rd.
• Beaverson Blvd. / Lions Head South
• Chambers Bridge Rd. / Ovation Way
• Brick Blvd. / Pine Tree Dr.
• Drum Point Rd. / Poppy Ct.
• Beaverson Blvd. / Dunkin Donuts (ramp)
• Burnt Tavern Rd. / Greenbriar Blvd.
• Burnt Tavern Rd. / The Boulevard
• Chambers Bridge Rd. / Brick Plaza
• Hooper Ave. / “A” Street
• Chambers Bridge Rd. / Kohl’s Plaza