TOMS RIVER – Work to replace the Whitesville Road Culvert on Whitesville Road in Jackson Township is expected to start mid-summer.
“This project will include a stronger structure with an earthen bottom that will be more environmentally beneficial,” said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety.
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders is expected to award a contract for the work to Lucas Construction Group, Inc., Red Bank, in the amount of $1,129,129 at its June 7 public meeting. The Board discussed the project during its May 31 preboard.
The culvert runs over the Dove Mill Branch, a tributary of the Toms River.
The project includes replacing a corrugated metal pipe with a 6-foot wide concrete rectangular structure. The new structure will have improved hydraulics and increased longevity compared to the existing metal pipe.
As is becoming typical for this type of infrastructure upgrade, the new culvert will not have a concrete floor but will have an earthen bottom that will replicate the existing stream bottom upstream and downstream of this culvert in order to provide a more environmentally friendly condition.
“The Ocean County Engineering Department looks at all possibilities when designing infrastructure upgrades,” said Kelly, who serves as engineering liaison. “We implement many safety and environmental upgrades in all of our projects.”
A culvert is the pipe that runs from one side of the road to the other and helps to move a small stream or carries water underneath the road.
Ocean County maintains 259 bridges and culverts along with 623 county road miles.
“The County has a program to upgrade its infrastructure whether it be roadways, bridges or the pipes under our roadways that typically go unnoticed by the general public,” Kelly said.
“It’s imperative to maintain our roads and infrastructure so our motorists and pedestrians are safe,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari.
Staged construction will be used for this project which will allow two lanes of traffic to be maintained during the construction. The work is expected to be completed in six months.