A new park on the Metedeconk River has officially opened to the public in Brick Township, bringing a close to a years-long permitting process and a new start to a park that had suffered from shoreline erosion and had deteriorated from its previous glory.
Cedar Bridge Manor Park, considered a “neighborhood park” in Brick parlance, was being enjoyed by a variety of neighboring residents Monday, from an elderly woman walking her dog to a father supervising his kids on the brand new playground. There was also a walking path around the park, a fish cleaning station (with a water pump), exercise equipment for adults and picnic tables under preserved shade trees. The park is located on Manor Drive, in the Cedar Bridge Manor neighborhood, off Hooper Avenue, across the water from the American Legion hall.
The park reopened to the public last week at a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Mayor Lisa Crate. Cedar Bridge Manor is the eighth project in the Township’s Park Improvement Program that began in 2014, and was fully funded in previous years’ budgets, but faced an extremely lengthy permitting approval process because of the shoreline restoration portion of the project.
To maintain the stability of the park amidst rising sea levels, protect its equipment and ensure visitor safety, township engineering officials designed the park with a small living shoreline and breakwater made from rip-rap to protect the area from erosion. At one point, the state even ordered the township to investigate whether the land was a tribal burial site; no such evidence was found. The final permits were issued in February.
In April, the township council awarded a $465,412 contract to Robbie Lane Enterprises, of Towaco, N.J., to undertake the rebuild. Construction began in June.
As Cedar Bridge Manor is considered a small “neighborhood” park rather than a “destination” park, input specifically from neighboring residents on surrounding streets advised officials on which features and amenities the park would include. Some of those amenities included the construction of a walking trail, handicap-accessible beach access, future kayak storage and the fish cleaning area.