Freeholders award contract for emergency repairs at Upper Freehold site

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Emergency repairs will be made at a location in Upper Freehold Township following a situation that developed in November.

During their meeting on Feb. 19 in Freehold Borough, the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders awarded an emergency contract to the Lucas Construction Group to perform repairs to bridge U-91a in Upper Freehold.

The bridge carries Jonathan Holmes Road over Lahaway Creek. The emergency contract is in the amount of $838,838, according to a resolution.

According to the resolution, the county temporarily closed bridge U-91a due to heavy rain storms that occurred on Nov. 26.

Staff members from the county’s Division of Engineering “assessed the condition of the site and determined the southern headwall and retaining wall supporting the road over the top of county culvert U-91a failed, causing the loss of fill material under the road, resulting in a sinkhole that extends approximately 3 feet into the eastbound travel lane of the road,” according to the resolution.

As a result, Jonathan Holmes Road is currently detoured and will remain closed to vehicular traffic until the necessary repairs have been completed, according to the resolution.

The freeholders said the required repairs are beyond the county’s in-house capabilities and require an emergency repair contractor.

On Feb. 1, the Division of Engineering received informal competitive proposals from the George Harms Construction Co., the IEW Construction Group and the Lucas Construction Group Inc. to perform the emergency repairs, according to the resolution.

Joseph Ettore, the county engineer, recommended accepting the lowest proposal, which was submitted by the Lucas Construction Group. The freeholders said George Lucas, the company’s vice president, would be notified of the board’s decision to award the contract to the company.

During the meeting, Ettore said the Lucas Construction Group has started making repairs to the bridge. He said the bridge is expected to be reopened by June 1.

In other business on Feb. 19 involving Upper Freehold, the freeholders adjusted two resolutions pertaining to the acquisition of property in conjunction with a project to improve Sharon Station Road from Route 539 (Allentown-Davis Station Road) to Route 526 (Allentown-Red Valley Road).

On Jan. 10, the freeholders authorized the institution of eminent domain proceedings to acquire a portion of the property at 22 Sharon Station Road and a portion of the property at 222 Route 539.

The property on Sharon Station Road is owned by Kenneth R. Giovanelli and the property on Route 539 is owned by Kenneth and Kathleen Horner. The freeholders said the county had been unable to acquire the needed property through negotiations with the owners.

An appraisal was commissioned on the Giovanelli property and the value, based on the appraisal, was set at $45,700. On Feb. 19, the freeholders adjusted the value to $48,400 and reauthorized eminent domain proceedings.

An appraisal was commissioned on the Horners’ property and the value, based on the appraisal, was set at $6,700. On Feb. 19, the freeholders adjusted the value to $8,500 and reauthorized eminent domain proceedings.