BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Beginning sometime this week, the main parking lot at Town Hall and the Berkeley Heights Police Station will not be available for public use.
Large piles of dirt that came out of the ground too wet to reuse as-is will be moved from the municipal complex construction site to this parking area, so that it can be dried out and used as backfill for the new building a few months from now. The dirt will be cordoned off during the process.
Municipal employees will park in the lot across the street at Memorial Field, and in the commuter parking lot on the other side of the train tracks from Town Hall. Visitors picking up or dropping off documents to the municipal building (Construction, Engineering, Finance departments, etc.) can park in the side lot next to the former Community Center, or on Park Avenue for short-term parking.
Given that during the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are still encouraged to work from home if they can, combined with the fact that summer is now upon us, plenty of commuter parking remains in the train station lot near Charkoal Grill and the old YMCA.
The Township is able to save a significant amount of money by engaging in this process, and not paying to have the wet dirt exported, then have dry dirt imported. Previously, there was not enough space available in the parking lot to pursue this cost-saving measure without adversely affecting commuter parking. Once the new municipal complex is finished and more than 90 new parking spots are created, some of those spots will be available for public use while the current municipal buildings are demolished and the new parking lot is being created. This demolition process, creation of new parking lot and other activities involved in what’s known as “Phase 2” of the municipal complex project, is tentatively scheduled to be complete in December 2020, weather permitting.