BERKELEY HEIGHTS — For a municipality, making sure its streets are both in good condition and safe is a major responsibility of the governing body.
On Tuesday, Oct. 27, the Township Council passed two resolutions authorizing payment to American Asphalt and Milling in Kearney for repaving and maintenance of Cottage Street, Ferndale Drive, Hastings Road, Greenbriar Drive and Fawn Circle.
The first resolution targets Cottage Street, authorizing repaving for an amount not to exceed $396,503.85.
According to Township Business Administrator Liza Viana during Tuesday’s meeting, Cottage Street repaving is set to commence next week — the week of Nov. 1.
The second resolution passed totaled an amount not to exceed $396,503.85 — and is part of the state’s New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) 2020 Road Program.
Money from the NJDOT will be put towards the repaving of Ferndale Drive, Hastings Road, Greenbriar Drive and Fawn Circle.
A pre-construction meeting for those road projects is scheduled for next week, according to Viana.
The NJDOT’s road program is part of the state’s municipal aid fund.
The public hearing during the Oct. 27 meeting saw Berkeley Heights resident Tom Foregger called for the creation of an updated town-wide repaving plan with a schedule of when roads are to be paved.
The existing plan — which has become outdated over the years — leaves Berkeley Heights residents without a reliable reference to see when their street is up for repaving.
“There should always be in place some sort of schedule of when you are going to do the roads,” said Foregger during the public hearing.
Mayor Devanney supported Foregger’s suggestion and said she would reach out to the Township Engineer Thomas Solfaro regarding “a short-term plan,” one that is “more workable,” said Devanney.
Berkeley Heights Resident Anthony Iorio, who was unable to attend the Zoom meeting, submitted a letter where he expressed concern for speeding on Cottage Street.
“Regarding the repaving of Cottage [Street,] I wanted to make the council aware of a public safety issue and ask to consider including some kind of speed control just around the curved section of the road, to address and mitigate the risk of serious incident due to high density of activity on the street,” wrote Iorio. His letter was read into the record by Business Administrator Viana.
Responding to Iorio’s letter, Viana said that town officials are currently conducting traffic studies on Cottage Street.
Mayor Devanney explained that the township intends on installing “Slow Children at Play” signs and special stripping to help with “traffic-calming” as part of repaving Cottage Street.
“We’re going to start with those two methods and monitor it,” said Devanney. “We want our residents to be safe.”