PISCATAWAY, NJ — A Piscataway couple is beaming with pride and joy again after a Department of Public Works contractor finished restoring and beautifying the island circle in front of their Heidi Court home that was heavily damaged by a tractor-trailer, an area they have personally maintained since moving to the neighborhood several years ago.
Last fall, Sheree and Michael Tucker were horrified to come home to find that the brick paver-lined island had been heavily damaged when the truck’s driver carelessly drove over it during a U-turn made in the cul-de-sac neighborhood. The driver had missed his turn to a nearby business.
“One early afternoon in October 2019, a tractor trailer came down our cul-de-sac,” Sheree said to TAPinto. “Instead of backing back out as he should have, he proceeded to go around the circle. His truck ran over it damaging pavers, bushes, flowers and a rose tree.”
Thanks to their Ring camera, the incident was captured on video for the police to use in their investigation, who found the truck parked at the business. The driver was given several tickets and the township filed a claim for the company to pay for repairs.
The Tucker’s attachment to the island circle began in 2016 when they found their dream home in the New Market neighborhood.
However, at that time, they were met with an overgrown, unkept circle in the middle of the cul-de-sac that neighbors said had been damaged years prior by another truck that made a wrong turn onto their street.
“The circle in the middle of the cul-de-sac had been clearly neglected for years, overgrown, pavers had shifted, trash, water bottles and broken glass were thrown in the center, probably by kids,” Sheree recalled.
“There was this tall piece of wood sticking out of the middle of an unruly circle of fern like bushes,” she said, remnants of a tree that once thrived there before the truck reportedly backed into it, causing it to die.
Since the island is township property because it’s part of the street, the couple asked the township to send out crews to repair and maintain the island which had become an eyesore to the neighborhood.
Instead, the Department of Public Works agreed to let the Tuckers “adopt” the circle who spent the next few years repairing and beautifying the scene.
Sheree said maintaining the circle has been a true labor of love, bringing them much pride and joy.
“My husband pulled all the overgrown vegetation out using his truck and cables, cleaned up all the trash, repacked the pavers and reset them back properly by himself,” she said. “We bought flowers, bushes and a rose tree to plant in the middle section. Each year we maintained the circle ourselves, pulling weeds, adding mulch and changing out flowers and bushes that didn’t make it through the winter months. We even added a few solar lights.”
Restoration of the island circle was finished earlier this month.
The Tucker’s said being able to repair the circle yet again could not have happened without the help of Piscataway’s Assistant Director of Public Works, James Ferratti.
“Mr. Ferratti has followed up and followed through with his promise to restore the circle back to its glory, and we are very appreciative of all that he has done to see it through,” said Sheree.
“We would like to thank him, the Piscataway Public Works Office and the Piscataway Police Department for coming right out and being on top of the incident. Even though it wasn’t a 911 emergency call, the police department's prompt response is what set the tone for this incident being handled as smoothly as it was.”
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