MIDDLETOWN — Hubbard Avenue, in the River Plaza section, which had been closed for more than a month since Tropical Storm Irene, has reopened to traffic.
Monmouth County Freeholder John Curley said the road, where a portion had collapsed, has opened as of the Columbus Day weekend, earlier than expected.
“The expectation was to open in mid-month,” Curley said.
A portion of the county road had literally crumpled when the rising water of the late August storm caused the dam at neighboring Shadow Lake to breach. The force of water undermined the pavement.
“That was a real mess,” Curley said, detailing how that length of the road had been eroded from the bottom. “So, all the underpinnings has to be replaced,” requiring the culvert over the lake waters to be completely resurfaced.
The project cost approximately $491,000, Curley said. The county had hired the Sambol Construction Corporation, Toms River, to undertake the work, according to the county’s engineering department.
Getting the private contractor on the job right after the storm, “that is what expedited this whole situation,” Curley said.
County officials were able to select a private sector firm from an already prepared list, allowing the work to commence quickly, according to Curley.
The county road is heavily traveled with vehicles heading to and from the Garden State Parkway’s exit 109, by way of nearby West Front Street. With that road unavailable for vehicles, they were forced to take long detour routes, having “to travel east to go west,” the freeholder said.
Curley, who lives in the vicinity of Shadow Lake, said area residents were “asking me when the completion date was.”
And when he told them it would be early October, “They were shocked. They couldn’t believe it could be done that quickly,” he said.
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