red bank what's going on herered bank white stHeavy construction equipment began tearing up one end of White Street in Red Bank Monday morning. What’s Going On Here? Read on.

red bank english plaza site planThe site plan, showing Broad Street at bottom and White Street at left, envisions a parking area that could double as event space in the center of English Plaza. Below, a westward view along White Street. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

red bank white st The sidewalk rip-up on White Street marked the start of what’s expected to be a three-month streetscape project overseen by downtown business promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter.

The work required the closure of White Street  between Broad Street and English Plaza for two days, through 7 p.m, Tuesday, RiverCenter executive director Jim Scavone said said in announcing the start Monday. Work will continue in this area for the remainder of the week

Despite the disruption, all stores and restaurants will remain open and accessible to pedestrians throughout the summer, “with the exception of localized closures for safety reasons,” Scavone said. In addition, contractor Seacoast Construction Company is permitted to close a limited number of parking spaces each day.

Funded in part by a $500,000 zero-interest loan from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to RiverCenter, the $1.53 million project calls for the creation of a continuous pedestrian path linking Riverside Gardens Park on West Front Street with Monmouth Street, via the mews alongside the Dublin House Pub.

It also includes the the creation of delineated central area of the English Plaza parking lot for use as event space, project engineer Jaclyn Flor, CEO of Broad Street-based Engenuity Infrastructure, told the borough council last September.

“It’s a wide-open space that can be programmed” for events such as farm markets, she said.

With all that, the lot won’t lose any parking spots. In fact, the project will add 10 parking spots in the area, Scavone said.

Additional landscaping, new lighting, street furniture and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb cuts are also on the punchlist. The road surface of White Street between English Plaza and Broad Street will be repaved in brick so that it can be closed down periodically for car-free events, Flor said.

The plan also calls for eliminating vehicular use of Emanuel Court, a narrow alley that connects the parking lot with West Front Street.

This is the third streetscape project initiated by RiverCenter, following the installation of brick pavers, curbing and lighting on Broad Street in 1998 and Monmouth Street four years later, Scavone said.