Ocean County is getting $3.9 million in federal aid to buy rights of way for work on county roads that will be part of the construction of the full interchange 91 of Garden State Parkway in Brick Township.
County Engineer Frank Scarantino said reconfiguring ramps and roads around the interchange is the county’s part of the three phase project that also includes the New Jersey Turnpike Authority widening the Parkway shoulders and replacing and raising the bridge carrying Burnt Tavern Road over the toll road.
The existing timetable calls for the Turnpike to begin the bridge work in the second half of next year, followed by the shoulder widening later in the year, and the county work to begin in 2013.
“All those contracts have to be coordinated,’’ Scarantino explained.
When the work is done a full interchange and improved access to the park and ride facilities will be the result. Currently, motorists on Burnt Tavern Road can only access the northbound Garden State Parkway. The southbound lanes must be accessed from Chambers Bridge Road.
One sticking point has been the relocation of the northbound entrance road to the Parkway from Burnt Tavern Road. One alignment put the ramp close to “seven or eight homes’’ and ran through the Wedgewood Place Homeowners Association drainage basin, he said.
Homeowners balked at that idea, and working with Assemblyman David Wolfe and Brick Mayor Stephen Acropolis, Scarantino said another alignment, one eliminating a Sovereign bank branch, was agreed upon.
“We’re meeting with the bank next week. They’re not too happy. It’s the lesser of two evils,’’ the engineer said of the current ramp alignment.
The latest design for the interchange is on the Engineering Department website at www.co.ocean.nj.us.