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Hockey Rink Construction Ready to Start

After more than two years of being closed, work is finally underway at hockey rink at Harry Dunham Park.

Now that the township's public works department has removed the old asphalt and by last week had laid gravel at the hockey rink being reconstructed at Harry Dunham Park, laying the groundwork for a contractor to come in with a goal of completing the work this year.

A few weeks ago, DPW employees removed the cracked asphalt surface that was the reason that the municipal recreational facility had been closed up more than two years ago. By last week, the surface had been smoothed, and gravel had been laid as a base for a future surface, township officials said.

The walls around the facility also were removed for repair, and will be reinstalled once the new surface, with plans also for a new drainage system, is complete, according to township officials. Township Administrator Bruce McArthur said the rink has been used for roller hockey and roller skating, including skates with wheels and blades.

The stone laid down by township workers is the sub-base that an asphalt base and top courses will be constructed upon, said Township Engineer Tom Timko.

Timko said that contractor, Halecon Inc of Bridgewater, is expected to begin work on the new surface and drainage design within a few weeks.

Completion time for the job will depend on the weather and should take two to three weeks to finish, Timko said.

For various reasons, it took the Township Committee five times to find a contractor to resurface, regrade and install a drainage system at the rink at a price that was within a budget that had been recalculated a number of times. 

The township's four other attempts at hiring a contractor with an acceptable proposal had failed before during 2011 and 2012. However, in September, the committee awarded a $121,660 contract for the job, having partially lowered the price by commissioning the township's public works employees to perform part of the groundwork.

Timko told the Township Committee in early September that the goal is to have the resurfacing done and the rink reopened later this year.

The rink has been closed for about two years, with officials blaming poor drainage for the cracking.

Timko said in September the contractor will repave and install French drains to improve drainage, and regrade around the outside of the rink. The contractor also may repair some pieces of the wall, which Timko the DPW workers will re-install once the rink itself is done and the fence repaired.

Timko and McArthur had noted that during part of the bidding process, the township had been sued by a resident who sought to have the township do more research or rewrite the bids to make the installation of a plastic tile rink surface rather than the asphalt.

Resident Douglas Wicks had contended that the township could install a plastic tile surface and did not need to make drainage improvements, even attempting to have a Superior Court judge require further investigation into that solution. His legal bid failed.

doug wicks October 08, 2012 at 03:29 PM
4 now that we have demolished a perfectly usable asphalt rink it is reckless and seeing to replace it with yet another asphalt rink that will be to failure within five or six years. It's a proven fact that asphalt will crack the. Time as evidenced by Monmouth County, Stafford Township, Somerset County, and hundreds of other similar as for rinks restyled with the ice court tiles surface. At best the Township should consider using concrete which is a more stable base, Have expansion joints that will accommodate expansion and contraction the use of a fiberfill concrete provide as a solid stable and long-lived base for our roller hockey rink. 5 As I said at the onset rink could have easily resurface with the tile system for cost of $75,000 or less and could have been done with Township labor as was used in the current project. Any French drain system, if required, could have been installed when he was verified as needed and observed. I believe it's time for the town, on projects where it's obvious our in-house engineering lacks the experience, to seek outside counsel and engineering advice before we blunder again and squander more taxpayers scarce dollars as was done in this case.
Todd Edelstein October 08, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Mr.Wicks, #3, at that time, 4/2012, the Twp was in contract negotiations with the Pubic Works Union. The Twp didn't hire any new employees to replaced the ones that had either left or were let go. After the contract was settled, I think at least 5 employees were hired.
doug wicks October 08, 2012 at 11:10 PM
If that were the case then the town could easily have postponed the award until the worker's contract was resolved-as it now looks like the results would be the same-we could do the work at a lower cost. but the real issue is that poor engineering and lack of even basic studies such as a test bore and ground water level determination made this project go in a wrong direction-away from the apparent initial town decision made in 2011 to fill the cracks and overlay with tiles as memorialized by Pat Monaco's email of March 2011 in response to an OPRA request or even if the initial bid documents for the tiles were specified in accordance with the established engineering standards and specified the tiles per the manufacturer's recommendations as they are the established engineering standards this bid would have been completed for under $100,000 in mid 2011 and with a longer lived higher performing WORLD STANDARD roller rink surface that would have a 10 year guarantee-nothing like the specified one year asphalt surface guarantee with a limit of 5% of the bid amount. Its a sorry situation for us taxpayers -overpay, get less and especially for the players, who were warned [twittered] not to speak out for the tiles at one open public hearing by a feckless interloper who disgracefully interjected herself into a situation where she had no business to do so, by being denied the world class rink they deserve.
Olive November 15, 2012 at 05:58 PM
What is the large rectangular area in the field near the rink that is covered with plastic tarps?
doug wicks November 15, 2012 at 08:17 PM
My observations over the past few weeks show that the rink does not drain as well as the prior rink surface and it now ponds heavily at the east end-something that didn't occur before with the old surface. In my view this whole exercise was a waste of hard earned taxpayer's money because what most responsible people did, when faced with the same cracked surface , overlaid it with the plastic tiles that are the world standard for resurfacing failed asphalt rinks -and which are proven to last far longer than asphalt surfacing. Also I don't believe that any further drainage work is needed-as simple observation of the rink just after a rain demonstrates that the rink perimeter drains well -as it always did. I would recommend that INTERESTED CITIZENS, DESIRING TO KEEP TAXES DOWN GO OUT AFTER A RAIN AND OBSERVE IF DRAINAGE IS ACTUALLY NEEDED We should cancel the remainder of the contract as save the money.

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