NJDOT Plans to Build Drainage Basin to Ease Flooding on Route 9 Near Manor House Shops

State Project Currently in Land Acquisition Phase
By VICTORIA FORD | May 29, 2019

Manahawkin — Joanna Di Maria, owner of the Manor House Shops in Manahawkin, appeared before the Stafford Township mayor and council at the meeting of May 21 to complain about the longstanding problem of flooding on Route 9 along the frontage and in the driveway of her retail business. The water issue has been going on for many years, she told them, and it affects her business.

Five years ago when she bought the business, she published a plea for help or advice on a local community news site, calling the ponding “an accident waiting to happen.” She was desperate back then for answers, “because I can’t do a whole summer under water,” she said. That was May 2014; she now faces her sixth summer with no solutions in sight.

Remedial efforts in the past have been temporary at best, she said. After a heavy rain, the water comes up over the sidewalk. All the grass in her front yard has died, and huge puddles stand in the roadway through which passing cars splash. She asked the town leaders what, if anything, she could do to help move things along.

Township Administrator Matthew von der Hayden said he would reach out to the state Department of Transportation again. “Let’s continue to push,” he said. “If we don’t keep asking, we won’t get anywhere.”

In response to The SandPaper’s inquiry into the matter, NJDOT Deputy Director of Communications Steve Schapiro said the department “has been working with local officials and the community to address the flooding on Route 9.”

“The department has designed a project to build a drainage basin and is in the process of acquiring a small parcel of land necessary for the work. The project is expected to be done after the summer season, but the schedule is dependent on the completion of the land acquisition.

“Until that time, if heavy rains cause flooding of Route 9 travel lanes, NJDOT crews will pump out the water as best they can.”  —V.F.

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