Officials are moving closer to reach the long-term goal of elevating flood-prone portions of Bayview Avenue in Seaside Park in cooperation with Ocean County and the state Department of Transportation.
Bayview Avenue runs along Barnegat Bay and is divided into segments. The roadway, which is under county jurisdiction, ultimately terminates in the South Seaside Park section of Berkeley Township. The roadway is frequently flooded, and neighboring residents have often called for a project that would mitigate the damage caused by rising bay levels. To that end, the borough applied for, and received, two separate grants that will provide for the elevation of the roadway.
“They are going to be combined into one project in order to stretch the dollars as far as they’ll go,” said Mayor John Peterson. “They are two different grants we’ve received, and the idea is to go as far as the money will take us.”
Seaside Park, for 2023, received $292,970 for one phase of the project from the state Department of Transportation. In 2022, the state announced it would provide a $315,000 grant for funding of the another phase of the project.
Since the prices of labor and materials has been in flux in recent times, it is impossible to determine exactly how far the grant funding will allow crews to elevate the roadway. The measurements and details of the project must also be confirmed by a contractor once one is selected, but Peterson said the funding is now in place, and officials can begin planning the overall effort.
One area of concern is between 11th Avenue and 14th Avenue, the mayor said.
“There’s quite a dip there, and that’s where water accumulates dramatically even during a regular rain storm or flooding event,” said Peterson.
Officials are hoping the work will begin this fall. While the project is funded, it was decided that no construction should take place during the busy summer months, nor should it be started – then stopped – and re-started between seasons.
“It’s not contemplated for this spring, because you can’t begin doing those projects even once May comes around,” Peterson said. “We’re going to get all the bidding together, line up the contractor, and at least aim for the fall.”