BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Wondering what’s happening at the DPW yard and other property near the current Town Hall? Those who haven’t been by the area might be surprised to learn work is already underway on the site.
At the July 24 meeting of the council, Township Administrator John Bussiculo said he and other township officials met on Friday, July 20, with representatives of Epic Management, the site's redeveloper, Mast, the project management firm, and Harbor Consultants. “Epic basically said come Monday, we are going to be here. Make sure everything is gone and clean,” Bussiculo said.
By Monday, July 23, most items were moved out of the DPW yard, but not all. Items moved or scheduled to be moved include:
· Recreation Director Tom Barton’s office, which is now in the Rectory, where the library is located, on Hamilton Avenue;
· Two sheds which were “moved to Snyder” with the help of Benham’s Garage;
· A third shed, actually a garage, which was scheduled to be moved;
· Salters were moved to the Waste Water Treatment Plant;
· Mulch was partially moved, with more to be relocated.
On July 23, fences went up around the site, “Things are going to start happening very, very quickly. Without the help of everyone pitching in, we wouldn’t have gotten there. Hats off to everyone pitching in,” Bussiculo said on July 24.
The salt done was emptied on Monday, and by Friday, July 27, the area where the new salt dome will be built, was expected to be cleared.
Workers cut down trees on the site during the first week, fences were placed around the site and traffic patterns in the parking lot were disrupted for a while.
By Wednesday, Aug. 8, municipal employees were parking up at Memorial Field and other locations, fences surrounded the site, with only one entrance to the DPW yard accessible to construction workers.
The official ground breaking for the Municipal Complex is still being arranged.
The site can be glimpsed from across the railroad tracks at the far end of the parking lot at the Berkeley Heights Train Station or from Berkeley Avenue, which leads directly into the DPW lot.
All these activities are part of Phase 1 of the Municipal Complex project, which includes building the new salt dome and building the actual municipal complex. These activities, including the clearing of the land, will take place at the same time. Phase 2 will include building the new commuter parking area, after the current municipal building and ancillary structures are demolished, and revamping the new DPW area.