Toms River officials on Tuesday night approved a contract with an engineering firm to design the elevation of three roads to stop them from persistent flooding.
The township is now on a regular schedule of road elevations each year, said Township Administrator Don Guardian. This year, three roads on the mainland portion of the township are scheduled to be raised: Silver Bay Road, Aldo Drive and Windsor Avenue. Each of the roads branch off onto smaller streets that back up to lagoons.
Wednesday night’s resolution awarded a $197,740 contract to French & Parrello Associates to assist the township’s in-house engineering department design the project. The design phase is the first step in getting the roads raised – next comes engaging with residents and setting a schedule.
“It’s a slow process because you need to meet with everyone involved – every homeowner – and you have to show them what 6-inches, 12-inches, 24-inches is going to do to their property,” said Guardian. “We’ve done three [projects] very successfully and have two more scheduled.”
In each previous case, residents were happy with the finished product, officials said. The new round of streets will come with about $400,000 to $500,000 worth of federal funding.
Raising streets is the most sure way to mitigate flooding, Guardian said. Toms River has been identifying opportunities for projects for the last decade, he explained. The township began looking into raising streets after valves placed on storm drain outfall pipes did not work. The raised roads create a higher surface for tides and floodwater to reach before pooling.
“Unfortunately, a lot of Toms River was built on top of low-lying areas,” Guardian said. “With these projects, we’re not raising the entire roadway 18-inches, it’s really the low points being raised.”