Editor’s note: Leanne Hoffmann, Neptune Township’s director of engineering and planning, sent us an email on Friday morning addressing some of the questions about the Broadway flood raised in our Thursday story (see below) and in some of the reader comments to that story. Although it is somewhat technical, we think it best to simply post the complete email here, with a minimum of bracketed explanation. If, after reading the Hoffmann email, residents have questions, you can post those as comments and we will try to get further responses from the Township. — Charles Layton
I will answer your questions below:
1. Fletcher Lake as you know is monitored by Public Works of Neptune. The Lake was continually monitored by Mark Balzarano [a Public Works official and member of the Fletcher Lake Commission] both during and prior to the storm. It always had positive flow out.The issue with lowering the lake prior to a storm is that the wave breaks fill the outfall pipe with sand. The elevation of the lake during the high point of the storm reached a high of 7.55. The elevations at the north side of Beach and Broadway is 8.28. The Lake did not cause the flooding at this intersection. This as you can see is monitored very closely.
2. The drainage project is not yet complete. As many are aware, the old culvert has failed in the intersection of Central and Broadway. We have always stated that we are going to keep the overflow which was this old box culvert. We are currently working on a plan to reestablish this culvert/overflow structure for the new drainage system. This project is establishing a drainage system on the north side of Broadway that never existed. The capacity of the twin 24 x 38 pipes exceeds the capacity of the existing box culvert that for years has been the only outfall structure to the lake. In keeping with the residents’ concern, the low lying areas and the flooding over the years, it is important to the Township and the residents to keep a secondary overflow system in place where the old box culvert collapsed. So, in short, the drainage project is not yet complete.
3. The drainage structure on the North side of Broadway [near the Central intersection] is not complete. [Ed. note: this would be the underground structure that residents say has been partially blocked by a sewer line.] The box was completed the day a storm was to happen. The focus was to make the connection from the new drainage system to the new twin outfall pipes. The fix that is in place is temporary. The box structure is going to be reconstructed to the drainage pipe and the temporary connection removed. When this is complete there will be no constrictions in the drainage pipe.
4. With respect to maintenance of structures [at Beach and Broadway], Public Works is constantly maintaining this drainage system and others similar to it around town. On Wednesday evening I was also there and personally witnessed Public Works helping to relieve the inlets and debris. Both Mark and myself were working on the new inlet on the North side of Broadway with contractor and [Public Works Director] Wayne [Rode] and OEM was at the intersection of Beach. I will tell you that in the intense storms the water rushes down the street and gutters so fast that even if the inlets are clear prior, the water has such intensity that it brings garbage, leaves, wood, plastic bottles, anything that is left in the gutterline with it, and this will block the inlets. We witnessed this at the inlets at the North side of Broadway. The intensity of the rain was so forceful that it moved the stone around the inlet that was intended to direct the water to the inlet, over the grates, and thereby blocked the water flow into the new pipes. Once this was cleared along with some debris that was blocking the old culvert, the water flowed positively through the system out to the lake.
Hope this helps to answer any outstanding issues.
— Leanne R. Hoffmann, Director of Engineering & Planning, Neptune Township
UPDATE: Later on Friday, Hoffmann sent an email blast to Ocean Grove subscribers which said the contractor was “starting to base repair the trenches on the north side of Broadway.”
This communiqué also said the Township was “working with the contractor to reestablish the overflow structure of the old culvert that has failed in the middle of the intersection of Central and Broadway. While we are working on what we can construct for the overflow structure, we have the east-bound side of Broadway closed to traffic. We are working on a plan to have this intersection opened to traffic next week.”
Hoffmann said the new underground drainage project, once it is completed, will have “capacity that exceeds the capacity of the existing culvert under Central and Broadway.”