One of Brick Township’s parks will receive a long-promised upgrade now that state officials have awarded permits following a drawn-out process that is still underway for yet another park due for enhancements.
Last week, township officials voted to solicit bids for the reconstruction of Cedar Bridge Manor Park, located on the Metedeconk River off Manor Drive. The neighborhood park, lined with trees atop a sandy surface, sits on a spit of land that juts out into a cove which flows to the larger Metedeconk basin. The township first began discussing the project seven years ago, and drew up plans for the rebuild. It was funded in the township’s capital improvement budget two years ago, but permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection were heavily delayed – a combination of pandemic-era slowdowns at state agencies as well as nagging red tape issues.
At one point, the township was required to conduct a survey to determine whether indigenous tribal artifacts were located on the site; the study did not turn up any evidence of any such materials buried there.
The park reconstruction plan not only includes an array of amenities for residents to enjoy, but a plan to shore up the physical integrity of the park with a shoreline restoration aspect. This will include the installation of a rip-rap breakwater that will prevent erosion, along with natural vegetation that will foster marine life.
The park will include a playground, exercise equipment, a kayak launch and a bike rack, plus a walking trail and a station to clean fish. In September, the township’s planning board formally endorsed the project.
The playground that will be built at the park will be moved a bit farther away from the water than initially planned, based on an idea from parents who were concerned their children could wander into the creek if the equipment was directly next to it. More security lighting was added in the final design iteration, and the playground replaced bocce courts or a horseshoe pit, which were not in-demand items. The bike rack was added at the request of residents.
Mayor John Ducey said that while Brick sometimes avoids park construction projects during the spring and summer, the township is seeking to have the park built as soon as possible since it was held up for such a long time. The timeline will be determined once bids are received, a contract is awarded and pre-construction meetings are held.
Township officials said another park in town due for a similar rehabilitation project – Mallard Point Park, located along Tunes Brook Drive – is still awaiting permits. That park will also receive shoreline restoration and new amenities.