A drive down Washington Street in Toms River from Whittier Avenue to nearly the entrance to downtown Toms River can be a bit rocky – literally and figuratively – these days, but the installation of new water mains and utilities is nearly complete, and Ocean County officials say the road will be paved in the coming months.
SUEZ, one of the Toms River’s water utilities, has been installing new water mains for more than a year in various sections of the township, including on Washington Street. The roadway, under county jurisdiction, had already been designated as needing to be repaved, however officials said they would wait until the major utility project was complete before beginning work.
The repair of Washington Street will be completed in two phases.
“We’re coordinating with the utility company where they are going to pay for the portion from Route 166 to Lexington Avenue,” said Assistant County Engineer Mark Jehnke. “They’ll make spot repairs on that remainder to fix the road in the short term.”
The rest of Washington Street, which comprises the bulk of the county road from the the downtown portion to Whittier Avenue, will be completely repaved under a county project.
“This was something we actually planned, but then everyone got torn up,” said Ocean County Commissioner Virginia Haines.
Commissioner Jack Kelly said a contract will be solicited and awarded soon, once SUEZ closes out its work, and the road is on track to be paved “by Labor Day.”
“We’re going to pave curb-to-curb there, and pave from Lexington out to Whittier, by the 7-Eleven, and finish up the rest of the project,” said Jehnke. “It will be repaved, definitely. It looks like Swiss cheese out there at the moment.”