By JOHN T. WARD
A messy road project in Red Bank will cost more and take longer to complete than originally anticipated, officials said last week.
Also, the borough plans to seek $250,000 in Monmouth County funding to cover half the cost of a series of improvements to borough parks.
At its semimonthly meeting last Wednesday, the borough council approved a change order on the East Bergen Place road project that will add to the $1.35 million cost.
The project, extending from Maple Avenue east to Branch Avenue, includes new curbs, sidewalk replacements where needed, a new sanitary sewer line and road resurfacing.
But excavation work by the contractor, Lucas Construction, has exposed “some water main issues,” Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told the council. The supply line is too close to the surface, above the frost line, and some of the laterals serving homes along the road have been breaking, “slowing the project down,” he said. The line needs to be replaced at a deeper level, he said.
That will add $160,000 to the project solely for the stretch between Broad Street and South Street, he said. Funding for that portion is available in the form of unexpended funds from prior bonding for water capital projects, Shehady said.
“We’ll come back with change orders for the other two parts,” between Maple and Broad and South and Branch, he said. “We want to replace the whole water main, and do it while the road is opened up,” rather than risk an emergency that requires reopening the surface after paving is completed, he said.
The project got underway in late July, with completion expected in about 90 days. The change “is going to shift the timeline,” Shehady told redbankgreen last Thursday, but an updated completion date was not yet available, he said.
Borough Engineer Laura Neumann, of CME Associates, also detailed a number of proposed upgrades to parks that would be implemented if the town is successful in landing a $250,000 Open Spaces from the county this year.
The changes include a new backstop and fencing for the multipurpose field at Eastside Park, as well as engineered mulch for the play area, which she said currently provides no protection for a child who might fall.
According to Neumann, the grant application also calls for installing a new surface overlooking the Navesink River, the installation of a flagpole and some landscaping at Riverside Garden Park; a small pavilion and barbecuing equipment at Mohawk Pond; and solar lighting along the walking path at Count Basie Fields.
The estimated cost of the projects is $500,000, Neumann said. The county grant, which is limited to $250,000 and is a matching grant, would cover up to half that cost, she said.
No one in the audience had any comments or questions about the application.