Toms River officials are looking to move quickly on a streetscape project that is aimed at improving the streets, landscaping and other aesthetics in the Ortley Beach business district.
The project’s design and construction cost is being funded by federal dollars through the Transportation Alternatives Design Assistance Program, administrated by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The state has offered $1.2 million toward the project.
Officials have held several meetings with Ortley Beach residents, as well as the Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association, which was instrumental in obtaining the grant. As currently envisioned, the plan includes new “gateway” signage, plus themed street furnishings, banners, lighting, bicycle racks, benches and newsstands. The streetscape project would take up about a one-mile stretch of Route 35 northbound through the neighborhood with the gateway signage at various “entrances” to the neighborhood along Bay Boulevard and other main streets.
Examples of the streetscape plans were shown during a recent videoconference meeting and are captured in the images attached to this story. A public comment period is now underway and input will be accepted through Dec. 6.
“This committee has worked extremely hard to get to what was presented,” said Councilwoman Maria Maruca. “There was a lot of public comment that came through, and we’re going to look at that, but I also know this is a project people want to get underway quickly.”
According to the presentation, the project’s engineering phase is expected to be completed in Feb. 2021, the design phase in Sept. 2021, with construction beginning in 2022.