By KENNY WALTER
SEA BRIGHT — The borough continues to wait for a state agency to approve a streetscape plan for Ocean Avenue.
Mayor Dina Long said during the Sept. 15 Workshop meeting that the borough is still awaiting final approval from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) before they can award a contract for streetscape improvements along Ocean Avenue from the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge to Beach Street.
“There is a problem with the DOT because they are unwilling to accept the striping plan that was done within DOT,” Long said. “They are unwilling to grant our Highway Occupancy Permit.
“Right now, we are in a position where we are still waiting for DOT to grant the Highway Occupancy Permit.”
In 2014, the borough was also awarded a $1.34 million state grant from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for streetscape improvements to pedestrian safety, bicycle safety and aesthetics with pedestrian-level lighting and seating and signage along Ocean Avenue.
In 2015, T&M Associates was awarded the contract for the preparation of Planning, Design, Engineering and Grant Administrative Services in the amount of $127,272.
Long said the borough is not permitted to begin any of the work that touches Ocean Avenue. However, during the Sept. 20 meeting, the council passed a resolution authorizing bids for all the work east of Ocean Avenue, which can be completed without the Highway Occupancy Permit being issued.
“We actually are coming to the end of our window for the fourth time it went out to bid, and I don’t [think] at this point we can do that unless we rebid it with just the east Ocean Avenue portion,” Long said on Sept. 15. “I think we are close enough to getting our Highway Occupancy Permit that hopefully we will be able to keep our original timeline in awarding the bid.”
If the borough is awarded the permit and the same company wins the bid on both bid requests, then the council can issue a change order on the original bid to avoid having to issue another request for bids.