The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is assessing the extent of the damage to a culvert and pipe under the Garden State Parkway that State Police said was set on fire Wednesday.

A fiberglass liner installed in the pipe with resin that protects the inside surface of the culvert was completely destroyed and must be replaced at an estimated cost of at least $1 million, according to Turnpike Authority spokesman Tom Feeney.

The pipe which is 300 feet long and 5 feet high dates to the 1950s when the Parkway was first built.

Feeney said work would likely begin in February but it was too early to determine the impact on traffic the liner replacement project could have.

The unrepaired pipe does not pose a threat to drivers on the Parkway.

State Police said Wednesday's fire was arson and was set around 5 p.m. Wednesday in the culvert that runs under the Garden State Parkway from the Exit 91 north entrance ramp to the 91 south exit ramp in Brick.

Several people, possibly juveniles, were seen running toward the Evergreen Woods Park Apartment Complex after the fire was set, according to State Police.

Fire damaged culvert under the Garden State Parkway at Exit 91 in Brick
Fire damaged culvert under the Garden State Parkway at Exit 91 in Brick (OCSN)
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A second fire is under investigation

The cause of a fire along the Garden State Parkway on Friday around 9:15 p.m. approximately two miles from the culvert fire remains under investigation.

Lakewood police sportsman Greg Staffordsmith said the brush fire was reported around 9:15 p.m. near Exit 89 at Bennett's Field, a dirt field with a manmade lake. The New Jersey Forrest Fire Service, Ocean County Fire Marshal, Ocean County Prosecutors Office, Ocean County Sheriffs Office are all part of the ongoing investigation, Staffordsmith said Monday.

Parkway traffic was not impacted by the Friday night fire.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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