nrrd-062910Navesink River Road over the Poricy Pond culvert shortly after it reopened in late June. (Click to enlarge)

A portion of Navesink River Road in Middletown will be narrowed to one lane of traffic as the final touches are made to earthen dam that collapsed in March, forcing a three-month closure, Monmouth County officials announced yesterday.

Work on the section of road adjoining Poricy Pond, between Hubbard Avenue and Route 35, is expected to start later this month and be is expected to be completed by mid-December, according to a county press release.

That portion road sits atop an earthen dam that was eroded to partial collapse by unusually heavy rains in March. It was fully reopened to traffic in late June, and has since seen temporary narrowings to one lane for the installation of a new sidewalk and other improvements.

The road will remain open to both vehicles and pedestrians during the final phase, though some single-lane closures are expected, the county says.

From the announcement:

The county has received the necessary authorization from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to install gabion walls on the dam’s downstream side that is on the south side of Navesink River Road. The gabion walls are needed to protect this embankment in the event that the brook’s floodwaters overtop the road again.

The county’s engineering, bridge and highway crews completely rebuilt the drainage system and road, alleviating the expense and the time it would have taken to go out for public bidding to hire a private contractor and engineering consultant, according to county Engineer Joe Ettore.