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Are Brick's Streets Properly Patched After Construction Projects?

Resident complains his street was never repaired to neighbors' satisfaction

Tunes Brook Drive is, by most accounts, a peaceful street. Situated on the Tunes Brook Branch of Kettle Creek, the road is near Brick's southern border, and the waterway from which it derives its name provides residents with a quick outlet to Barnegay Bay.

But since a Brick Municipal Utilities Authority sewer project last year, neighbors say their street has lost its peaceful feeling, as drivers are jolted by pot holes and deteriorating patchwork.

It's the same situation in the northern part of town, where residents of Bluff View Drive deal with many of the same issues, also following a BTMUA sewer line project about two years ago.

The issue is receiving attention from township officials after a Tunes Brook Drive resident pleaded his street's case before council members before they passed the 2012 capital budget earlier this week, which includes funding for road work.

"It was my understanding that, once this was done, the roadway would be paved," said Frank Rutondo, who told council members he counted over 100 exposed excavation points between the end of Tunes Brook and Hooper Avenue - some with weeds growing through the cracks in the pavement.

Councilman Bob Moore said he's struggled with the condition of roads after construction projects as well.

"I nearly lost the bumper on my truck going from one side of the street to the other side of the street," he said, referencing the condition of Fort Street, off Route 88.

But there's no quick fix to post-construction woes, officials say. Even though contractors are required to fully repair a street, the settling process of certain projects can drag on.

Especially after piping or trenching projects - the kind that are done when sewer lines are replaced or upgraded - it takes at least six months for the pipes to settle, according to Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis.

Crews usually put a gravel mix on top of the trench first, then cold patch, then a final overlay of asphalt, he said.

The process takes time.

"We've always had issues with BTMUA's trenching," said Business Administrator Scott Pezarras. "Many times we've had to go out and repair their trenches for them."

When a private contractor digs up a street, Acropolis said, the township holds a bond - a sum of money to guarantee the contractor's work. If a street is not returned to an acceptable condition to township engineers, the town can then collect on the bond to repair the roadway. Most bonds can last eight months or more before they are released.

As for Tunes Brook Drive, the roadway is fifth on the township's list of roads to be paved. Though not included in the capital budget this year, Acropolis said money left over can be used for a paving project.

The cost to repair all of the township's roads in need of improvement: about $10 million, officials estimate.

"Do we wish we could go out there and do all of them? We're ready, willing and able," Acropolis said. "But it comes down to dollars and cents."

Tom Cular June 15, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Please let me begin with the qualifier; I've been involved in heavy/highway construction for more than 40 years. The mayors limp wristed excuse of settlement is pure B.S. If the trench is restored properly, as Ocean County and NJDOT require on their roads, there would be little or no settlement issues. The only indication of trench activity would be a slight difference in the shade of black in the final paving. BTMUA work is overseen and inspected by their own in house personnel. Do you see a link to poor performance ? The mayor's talk of "Cold Patch" for anything more than an overnight bandaid to assist motorists and residents clearly shows his ignorance of the subject. With respect to Mrgrumpass's comment on holding the bond for four years, if a governing body want's to hold a bond for that length of time it's going to cost the contractor more to secure the bond and limit his bonding capacity for the four year period. Guess who's going to pay for that. My suggesion is to require the same specs. as Ocean County and NJDOT and have an independent, third party inspection Co. oversee the work, not the politically connected "Engineer of Record" .
GaryR June 15, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Well said Tom. If we stop to think about it, how come patches on the Parkway don't settle & fail? Because they are backfilled properly and the areas are COMPACTED between the different backfill materials are applied BEFORE the top is brought back to road grade with asphalt. It's a simple process really...it just takes the proper equipment, experienced supervision, and a little extra time. Not the 'slapped together' process we normally see where they don't compact any of the backfill and overfill the asphalt (big bump) in anticipation of the settling due to the lack of the foundation's density.
Mark Good June 15, 2012 at 01:59 PM
if they tamp the ground correctly you would not have settling
Erin June 15, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Over in the Forge Pond section of Brick as well. I have to drive literally 5mph or less bc the road is so bad!
Chief Wahoo June 15, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Now that is the Bricktucky we all know and love ... Just make sure you keep paying your property taxes , wouldn't want Pezzaras to worry about anything
Chief Wahoo June 15, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Any chance Juan Bellu can fix the roads . For $150,000 he must be able to do everything !
BW June 15, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Have you ever watched the BTMUA at work? Whether it is repairs or patching the pavement? I have, and this is what you see. You will see 2 to 3 trucks, between 4 and 6 workers, one worker "directs traffic" one worker is in the ditch/ digging/filling in, and 2 to 4 others are standing on the side of the road BSing. Then we have workers who ride around in company trucks, doing nothing, or in the case of one worker, drives from store to store playing scratch tickets. (I even took pictures and sent them to the MUA, but of course nothing is done about it.) It is time to clean out the MUA from its director on down, and hire people WHO ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.
Mommyof3 June 15, 2012 at 02:18 PM
What about those streets that had NO work done and are a mess??? That gravel mix does NOTHING but make the pot holes BIGGER! Take Brick Blvd and turn between the old DeeRose store and Luke Oil....you can turn right or go straight...either way you go, you'll see the MESS!! The town keeps putting that gravel mix in to fill the holes, which then makes "rockets" of the gravel shooting up hitting your car and a week later, the hole is twice the size! I understand how the people on Tunes Brook would be upset, but Lake Shore Dr didn't have any work done and its ten times worse! The last work done on Lake Shore Dr was when they added those speed "humps" and even then, they never fixed the pot holes!!! Sick!!!
Mrgrumpass June 15, 2012 at 02:37 PM
My question to you is out of sequence why? As they say in the old gangster movies somebody pushed a button!
Mrgrumpass June 15, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Tom you know better than I, so the slacker in this case is the BTMUA and the town not enforcing the proper specs! Thanks
Mrgrumpass June 15, 2012 at 02:47 PM
A better idea is to dissolve the BTMUA, the town created it the town can dismantle it!
Brickresident June 15, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Maybe the towns people should vote who does the work from here on out. So we know the job gets done right the first time.
IGGY June 15, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Bring back our paving crew.....all the men still work for us and we still own all of the paving equipment, just sitting there rusting away. No one did a better job than DPW paving crew, now Birdsall gets the big bucks .
Joseph Woolston Brick June 15, 2012 at 04:26 PM
BW what you don''t see is, one worker digs for awhile, when he gets tired, another takes his place so forth and so on. What you want one guy to dig a six foot hole all by himself? Can you? If so please fill out an application at town hall!
MOONPOOL June 15, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Then fire all the workers(big tax saving) and call in contractors . i guess that would be to simple! the town worker's if you want to call them that! More like dead wood! i have watch the scarpelli crew do nothing but ride from one side of town to the other to sit in coffee shops and bs! hey better yet we as rate payers should ask newman to pay the $80,000 plus intrest in stolen water,that he stole when he hooked up his property with out a meter! but he is a demcorat and that is on in there book!
BW June 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Joseph, you are incorrect. They were replacing curb boxes on my street. the same kid dug all the holes, and other kid replaced the boxes, the 1st kid filled in the hole. The whole time 2 other guys, stood and watched, talking on their phones, laughing it up. And I have pictures of the one worker going from store to store sitting in his truck scratching off lotto tickets. At any given time, you can go to windward and see 4 to 5 trucks parked there. It is time to clean out the MUA,
Anthony June 15, 2012 at 04:54 PM
We cant go a month without them threatening to take our garbage services away. You think theyre gonna ADD paving crew jobs? I think theyd need another 26% tax increase for that one, ATLEAST.
BW June 15, 2012 at 05:03 PM
There is a way to get the money to pave all the roads that need it, and it is quite simple. SELL FOODTOWN. That 6 million would more then cover the road work.
Kim E June 15, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Gosh I hope your statement is sarasm !!!!!
Mark Good June 15, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Not sarcasm,.the deeper you dig you have to compact in layers from the bottom to the top up to the bottom of the asphalt then the correct amount of asphalt to allow for compression of the roller to work out to the correct street level or a little bevel so water doesn't puddle. Do it right the first time !
JHill June 15, 2012 at 06:18 PM
No way. I'm sure they already have that money earmarked and spent before we even see a dime from the Foodtown property.
Ryan Meyers June 15, 2012 at 06:58 PM
wasn't Scattorro's kid hired by the Mayor and placed in the DPW, then moved to the parks Dept to avoid the layoff's, then moved to the Municipal Complex when that didn't work well and then didn't he call out sick when the big storm hit, that the mayor threatened to fire those DPW workers ? here's a better idea, hire qualified employees , rather then friends & relatives.
IGGY June 15, 2012 at 07:33 PM
We had a paving crew for years on our old budget. But when Scott Mac went to Birdsall eng. they gave all the paving to them, and all our paving eqipment is just rusting away, and the guys that did the paving are still working for the town including the supervisor........double paying.......go figure !!!!!!!!!!!!1
Watchman June 15, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Does anyone really think the township is going to go after the M.U.A. for anything. A million bucks a year buys a lot of forgiveness. And they are all the mayors buddies.
brick resident June 15, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Birdsall designs roads, they don't pave them. Asphalt contractors pave roads.
Mickey June 15, 2012 at 09:44 PM
walk thru the halls at the BTMUA, seems every name is a blast from the past, the ultimate friends & family club. isn't the R's chairman employed there too now ? still waiting to hear the story behind the employee that was never there and was supposedly going to be fired months ago, but still has a job....and a take home car. wonder if any present council members work there ?
BW June 15, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Mickey, yes Brando "works" there. Ex councilman catalano is a commisioner. Then of course freeloader Jim "I have all been fancinated by water" Lacey, runs the show.
Sharon Beckett June 16, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Burnt Tavern Road was only paved from Van Zile Road west to to the parkway. Burnt Tavern Road EASt from Van Zile Road to Route 70 hasn't been paved in 11+ years and yes it's in horrible conition but than again so is the "OLD" Burnt Tavern Road which again hasn't been paved sin 11+ years.
IGGY June 16, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Birdsall hires paving contractors to do the paving for the town.........don't kid yourself, been there done that !
proudnot2bliberal June 17, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Bricjk & the state of NJ has to grow a pair. Before I moved to NJ about 8 yrs ago my former state went after a couple contarctors who did poor paving & other work. they siezed thier bonds on other project & forced to comapnies to redo the work at THIER cost. BUT this is NJ the croaninism capitol of the US

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