LONG BRANCH:The city is advancing its plans to rebuild its oceanfront pier and add a ferry service.
The Long Branch Council awarded a $2.4 million contract to TDG-NJ Planning Architecture Urban Design, Inc. to perform "final conceptual preliminary design" of the pier/ferry project during its March 22 meeting.
"This would be for advanced design of the project," Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley has said. "We did preliminary design in the first phase but this would be more specific design."
Woolley has said the city has funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to pay for the design work.
According to agreement passed by the council, the scope of TDG's work will include engineering and architectural work on the "anticipated buildings, building sizes, open or enclosed public space, transit facilities or access corridors, number of occupants, number of passengers, footprint and location of anticipated structures, and number of levels or floors."
The pier would be located at the end of Laird Street and include restaurants, entertainment venues, retail stores, amusements, and a ferry service to Manhattan, officials have said.
The proposed ferry service would connect travelers directly to New York in about 40 minutes. Over the years there have been five pier structures built in Long Branch and the last pier was destroyed by a fire in 1987.
The problem is and has been the estimated price tag of about $100 million to construct the pier/ferry terminal. However, Woolley has said completing this phase of the engineering will bring the project to a point where the city can seek private or federal funding.