‘The Boulevard at Brunswick Pike’ inches closer to reality with award of contract

Lea Kahn/Staff
Lawrence Township officials unveiled a concept plan for Brunswick Pike.

The long-awaited streetscape improvement project on a one-mile stretch of Brunswick Pike, between Lake Drive and the Brunswick Circle, inched closer to reality after the Lawrence Township Council awarded a contract for the project.

The Lawrence Township Council awarded a contract for $701,854 to S. Batata Construction Inc. at a meeting in December 2022. The Parlin-based contractor was one of three bidders for the job.

S. Batata Construction was awarded the job after the lowest bidder withdrew because of an error on one of the bid specifications. The bids ranged from $537,601 to $2.8 million. The municipal engineer’s estimate was $707,959.

Lawrence Township received a $700,000 state grant toward the cost of the streetscape improvement project, between Lake Drive and the Brunswick Circle, in the southern part of the township.

The stretch of Brunswick Pike that is going to be improved will be known as “The Boulevard at Brunswick Pike,” Municipal Manager Kevin Nerwinski said, noting “it has been nearly 17 years in the making.”

The plan calls for installing cobblestone pavers at the intersections of the side streets and Brunswick Pike, starting at the intersection of Lake Drive and Brunswick Pike. It will continue south to the intersections of Maplewood Avenue and Brunswick Pike on the west side, and Hope Avenue and Brunswick Pike on the east side.

Cobblestone pavers will be installed at each end of the landscaped grass medians that divide Brunswick Pike into two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes. Trees will be planted on the grass medians.

To improve pedestrian safety, the asphalt brick-looking crosswalks will be replaced with white painted crosswalks. The painted crosswalks are more visible, easier to maintain and less subject to wear, officials said.

Pedestrian-activated rectangular rapid flashing beacons will be installed at the intersections of the side streets with Brunswick Pike and will alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians who want to cross the corridor.

The streetscape project will help link the residential and commercial uses along Brunswick Pike, officials said. The goal is to make the Brunswick Pike corridor more pedestrian friendly – especially for the senior citizens who live in the Heritage Village at Lawrence apartment building on Brunswick Pike, officials said.

Lawrence Township officials also hope that the streetscape improvement project will spur economic and commercial development along that stretch of Brunswick Pike.

Officials have been focused on redeveloping Brunswick Pike between Whitehead Road – south of Lake Drive – and the Brunswick Circle for more than 25 years. The area was designated as a redevelopment zone in an amendment to the township’s Master Plan in 1995.

Roadwork design plans for Brunswick Pike were completed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) in 2015. The state agency has jurisdiction over Brunswick Pike.

The NJDOT moved ahead with the construction of the Whitehead Road roundabout, and also constructed the grass median between the roundabout and the Brunswick Circle.

Once the Brunswick Pike streetscape improvement project has been completed, the NJDOT will turn over control of that section of Brunswick Pike to Lawrence Township.