A project manager from Conti Enterprises, the company contracted by the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority (BRSA) to build a wind turbine in Union Beach to offset its energy costs, shed light on the finalized route to Union Beach at the meeting Monday night.
Eric Millard explained that the majority of the components will travel down Route 35, onto Route 36 and into Union Beach. However, due to low train bridges over the highway, now part of the Henry Hudson Trail, three components that make up the tower of the wind turbine will have to travel down County Road Rt. 79 through Marlboro and Matawan.
For Matawan, this means the three components will travel along Freneau Avenue to Main Street, at which point they will cross Route 34. From there, they will continue along Main Street to Lower Main Street, across the train tracks and toward Route 35.
Conti is required by Monmouth County to obtain permission from each municipality the turbine components will travel through. According to Millard, they have not yet received permission from Matawan and Marlboro.
Millard estimates that each component weighs between 30 and 60 tons, resulting in an oversized load traveling through the borough that weighs about 75 tons with the truck included.
Matawan Mayor Paul Buccellato said the borough is worried that the weight of the trucks and the components could damage bridges and sewer and water pipes running under the roads. The borough council passed a resolution on Oct. 18 requesting that Monmouth County do a study to evaluate the potential impact to borough infrastructure. According to Buccellato, the borough has not received any information regarding the potential impact.
"Matawan is a historic municipality. It dates back 360 years. I'm not saying the roads are that old, but they're pretty close to it," Buccellato said.
Conti Enterprises is required by Monmouth County to have a third party engineer evaluate the route, Millard said. Part of the route in Matawan has been evaluated and passed, according to Millard.
"I know these pieces are heavy. They are spread over several axles and so when you break it down per axle it's not any heavier than a loaded concrete truck," Millard said. "When you look at it that way it's not going to do as much damage as one 60 ton axle on the road."
While traveling, the trucks must have four Monmouth County Sheriffs escorting it in addition to support from local police departments, according to Millard. The trucks will travel between 10 and 20 MPH, and slower around turns. According to an official email from Millard that was received by the borough on Oct. 6, it will take about ten minutes for the trucks to pass through.
Millard's visit to the borough comes less than a week after the in available funds for unforeseen expenses related to the wind turbine for Conti Enterprise.
The Matawan Borough Council at their Sept. 20 meeting opposing the construction of the wind turbine. According to the resolution, which was passed 7-0, Matawan Borough, "shares the concerns expressed by the residents and governing body particularly in light of what appears to be at best a limited effort by BRSA to reach out to residents of the Bayshore and a lack of transparency in this matter."
The BRSA is a of Union Beach, Holmdel, Keyport, Hazlet, Keansburg, Matawan, Aberdeen and parts of Marlboro, by transporting, treating and disposing it.
Editor's note: The combined weight of the component and the truck has been changed to accurately reflect that they weigh about 75 tons.