By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Motorists shouldn’t be surprised if they encounter “Road Construction” or “Road Closed” signs while driving around Sea Isle City this fall.
The city will use the normally slow off-season months to complete a series of road projects throughout town, Mayor Leonard Desiderio said.
He told City Council at its meeting Tuesday that a half dozen projects will get underway this fall and “many more” are in the planning and design stage.
“We’ve gone through a spring and summer of the COVID pandemic, but our continuing program to maintain and improve our public assets and infrastructure has not missed a beat,” Desiderio said. “In the next few months, we’ll be working on the 2021 budget, along with the five-year capital plan.”
For the latest road project, Council approved a $557,140 contract Tuesday to Command Co. Inc. of Egg Harbor City. Streets that will be reconstructed under the contract include:
- 48th Street between Central and Landis avenues.
- 57th Street between Central and Landis.
- 58th Street from Landis to the beach end.
- 74th Street between Central and Landis.
- 82nd Street between Central and Landis.
The road work follows up on water and sewer improvements previously completed on the same streets.
“This is wrapping up the utility projects. Once they dig up the streets, they have to repave them,” city spokeswoman Katherine Custer said.
Earlier in the year, Council awarded a $643,000 contract to Arawak Paving Co. of Hammonton to repave Pleasure Avenue from 53rd Street to 73rd Street. The majority of the work on Pleasure Avenue will occur in September, the city said in its latest update on the project.
On Tuesday, Council continued with its practice of holding its meetings by teleconference amid the coronavirus pandemic. No announcement has been made about when the city may resume in-person meetings.
In other business at the meeting, Desiderio reported that Sea Isle will continue to plan flood-control and drainage projects as part of its strategy to protect the low-lying island from stormwater.
“As we come out of the hurricane season and head into nor’easter season, I want everyone to be assured that flood mitigation and drainage improvements remain a top priority for this administration,” he said.
Last year, Sea Isle completed its first stormwater pumping station, in the flood-prone bayfront neighborhood of Sounds Avenue and 38th Street. The project cost about $800,000.
Pumping stations intercept floodwater and channel it back into the bay much faster than it would normally take to drain off the streets after a coastal storm
An engineering study conducted in 2018 for Sea Isle recommended a total of 10 pumping stations located throughout town to alleviate flooding.
In his remarks to Council, Desiderio noted that planning continues for other new pumping stations. One of the pumping stations will be incorporated in plans for the city’s proposed community recreation center at the former public school site on Park Road, he said.