Assemblyman Dave Rible attended the Bradley Beach Borough Council meeting this week to announce that after a near fatal incident where a pedestrian was hit by a car on Main Street the Department of Transportation crews would begin work on Third Avenue.
“After the incident, I reached out to Assemblyman Dave Rible to expedite this (the crosswalks), the best he could,” Mayor Gary Engelstad said.
“You guys have done such a tremendous job with your Main Street that these crosswalks will be beneficial for safety but also for foot traffic and business owners,” Rible said.
“It’s unfortunate that it came to this,” Engelstad said. “But I don’t think we’d be where we are now without your intervention.”
According to Borough Engineer Gerald Freda, everything on Route 71 will happen in stages. Englestad asked if the state would allow pedestrian crossing signs. Freda said that they do, however, they encourage only staging them at each end of Main Street to reduce “sign pollution.”
“Right now they haven’t completed that part of their improvements,” Freda said. “Once they’re done if there’s something we don’t care for we can work with them on it.
Freda said that the contractors began work on the handicap ramps at the beachfront on October 13. However, the design will have to be changed slightly due to the large boulders at the base of the bulkhead.
“Back in the early 1990s they notched the jetties to prevent scalloping of the beaches so the sand would flow evenly,” Freda said. “They took the stone from the operation and stacked the stone in there (the bulkhead), a reasonable approach. Now we’re going to be driving the 30-foot pilings, and we can’t get through the stone”
Freda said that the borough’s goal is to get the Ocean Avenue handicap ramps and curbing improvements done by the end of 2015. The bids came in too high, however, so the borough will be rebidding the project for spring construction.
“We can still stay ahead of the county resurfacing project which isn’t due to start till end of April,” Freda said. “If they have to wait for us, they’ll wait for us.”
The county will be paving from Fletcher Lake in Bradley Beach to Wreck Pond in Spring Lake. Freda said they might start with Bradley Beach and work south.
“However, the county will only put striping back where it is now,” said Freda who added that the county will not pay for parking lines or numbers. “That’s why we need to get our handicap ramps in because we’ll have the same problem like we have on Main Street.”
Councilman Harold Cotler asked if there was any work on the 48 ramps that could be done in house. Richard Biancchi of public works said “It’s a lot of technical stuff with grades. It’s just too much.”
“The difficulty is that each one has to be set in a certain way to meet the standards,” Freda said, in agreement with Biancchi.
The council also authorized the borough engineer to perform all professional services for the Sanitary Sewer and Stormwater System Rehabilitation Phase I project while authorizing Borough Administrator Joyce Wilkins to act as the Authorized Representative for the Infrastructure Trust Loan for the project. Freda and Wilkins had attended a seminar regarding the refined program.
“Our project is perfect, it falls right into their category,” said Freda of the south end of the borough. The program allows the borough to apply for a low interest loan where a portion of the loan may turn into a grant.
“The only thing they won’t fund is curbing and sidewalk and things like that. But they will fund replacement of the sewers, new sanitary sewers, manholes,” Freda said.
The borough will have to submit design plans in March before being awarded which according to Freda is the “risky part of the program.” Phase I of the potential project would include sewer rehabilitation of all municipal streets from Evergreen, south, excluding Main Street since it was just resurfaced.