BORDENTOWN CITY, NJ— Residents on Oliver Street and the surrounding area were given an update at a community meeting on Tuesday night about a major roadway and underground water infrastructure project that will take place on the block starting next year.
Led by Commissioner Joe Myers, who is the City’s Director of Public Property, Streets and Water, the meeting’s purpose was to inform residents about the two aspects of the project: underground water upgrades and replacements and road improvements.
“Over the past few years, we’ve made the pledge to rebuild the roads in the City,” said Myers, who noted the aging infrastructure of the City. With the recent completion of the same project on West Street, the City is turning its attention to Oliver Street.
Myers said that there are two components to the project, both separately funded: water and road.
The water improvements that will be made are state mandated and specific. In order to comply with fire safety and water pressure standards, the City will be expanding the size of the water main from 4 inches to 8 inches, as well as making a loop connection. Myers does not anticipate a disruption in water service during the work.
The water portion of the project will occur first, beginning with the designing process starting in November, permitting in December, advertising for contracts in January and awarding of contracts in February. Myers hopes that work will start in April of 2021.
Deputy Mayor John Brodowski, who serves as the City’s Director of Revenue and Finance, said that the water improvements and upgrades will cost $1,080,000.
The road component of the project will see the repaving of all of Oliver Street, which Myers says is just under 1,600 feet in length- “one of the largest stretches of road” that will have been repaved in the City, he said. The City is also seeking to make upgrades to the concrete of some curbs, sidewalks, ramps and driveway aprons.
Myers noted that the City has recently adopted a “Complete Streets” policy, in which streets are designed and operated with the safety, mobility and accessibility needs of users of all ages and abilities in mind, and that the Oliver Street project will seek to adhere and incorporate new ideas in the plan.
“It’s a balancing act,” Myers said. “We have to make sure we make sure every mode of user is incorporated into it,” he said, including pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists.
The design process for the roadwork will begin in November, with permitting starting in December and advertising for contracts occurring in February. Myers said that the roadwork will follow the water project by a couple of months, with the hopes that it will start in the Summer of 2021.
Brodowski said that the total cost of the road improvements will be about $450,000, with $245,000 of that being covered by funding received by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
“From a finance standpoint, we have our bases covered,” Brodowski said.
Emphasizing that the City was only currently in the surveying phase, Myers said that the next step would be to collect residents’ input before moving towards the design stage.
Throughout the meeting, Myers, as well as Mayor Jim Lynch and Brodowski, stressed that the community’s feedback would be a critical part of the process.
"Before we start the process of paying someone to design the work, we want to listen to the residents,” said Myers.
Myers invited residents to walk Oliver Street with him, as well as the Project Engineer, on Monday, November 2 at 4:30pm, and asked them to spread the word about the walk to their neighbors. He hopes to hear residents’ concerns as well as learn of other issues that may be on their minds in regards to the project.
In addition to Monday’s walk, Myers said that the City will be sending out surveys, holding meetings and communicating to residents through e-mail blasts in order to keep them appraised of the project.
“We are at the beginning of this process, he said. “We want to have multiple ways to connect with people.”