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Brick Community Gets Visit From DEP To Address Noise From Widening Project

(Ilya Hemlin Townsquare Media)

A Brick Township community enduring a battle with noise and pollution from the Parkway Widening Project could get closer to relief with a visit from a representative from the Department of Environmental Protection at the beginning of June.

The Evergreen Woods Complex is just one of the communities along the stretch of road who are battling with the DEP and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority over the project they say butts up the eight lane highway right to their backyards.

After months of complaints and letters from residents and elected officials, Evergreen Woods will receive a June 4th visit from DEP Representative Charles Welsh, who will conduct a site evaluation. Including the possibility of a noise study needed to get a sound wall installed.

Homeowner Jack Sluka is just one of the residents who’ve complained about the constant noise, pollution, and danger from high-speed vehicles which has occurred since the project tore down trees and bushes used as a barrier, while simultaneously moving the road closer to homes.

“You used to only hear the plows in the winter. Now you hear the highway all day long and all night long, sometimes the house actually shake.”

He adds they’ve seen home values drop up to twenty percent as perspective buyers are turned off by the proximity of the highway with nothing to absorb the sound or pollution.

Many in the community are hoping for a sound wall to be built, Sluka believes they aren’t left with many options.

“There’s not enough trees or woods out there anymore to kill some of the sound.”

The New Jersey Transit Authority has authorized a berm be installed, however Sluka notes it would only be about 66 inches high, 15 foot wide, and maybe 100 foot long. No trees or bushes have been installed and construction of the berm has not begun.

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