BERNARDS TWP., NJ - A road reconstruction project for rutted Douglas Road is set to begin on Wednesday, July 5, with the closing of the road planned for through traffic - with even residents being warned they may sometimes not be able to reach their driveways.

The road, which is split down the middle by the border of Bernards Township and Far Hills Borough, will be milled prior to repaving between Allen Road and the intersection with Liberty Corner Road, Bernards Township announced on Monday.

Drivers told to avoid narrow road while construction continues

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Due to the narrow road width, drivers should not attempt to travel through the construction area, the township's announcement said.

Residents of Douglas Road will have access to their driveways at the end of each work day. However, the announcement added that, "Access may be intermittent during the day depending on the progress of the work."

Delay in project for a year

The road project was due to be begin 2016, but was put on hold when Gov. Chris Christie held back on previously awarded grants in order to pressure officials to support a 23-cent-per-gallon statewide gas tax. 

The delay in the receipt of the grant for about $223,500, which would fund most of the project's cost - estimated at $280,000 last year - meant that the start date was pushed back too far in the season, officials said last October.

Both municipalities that share the road had previously jointly applied for the state grant, after agreeing that both Far Hills and Bernards would split the amount of the cost not covered by state road funds.

In prior years, the towns had been unable to reach an agreement for how to split the cost of upgrading and maintaining the road, with Bernards contending that Far Hills was unwilling to shoulder a fair share of the expense. As a result, Bernards for a time period patched and maintained only its side of the narrow country lane, with holes and ruts developing primarily on the borough-owned lane.

It was earlier agreed that Bernards Township will be responsible for administering the current road project.