BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Delaware Drive residents are looking to get some relief from the Bridgewater Township Council.
More than a dozen such residents spoke at a recent council meeting about abating ongoing dangerous winter weather road conditions that exist on their block.
Delaware Drive resident Ray Daniel said there are 18 homes situated on what is a cul de sac with “bad paving,” including a bus stop located at the intersection of Delaware and Crim Road where water collects and then ices up.
“It really needs to be re-graded,” he said.
He also said that the roadway had never gotten a finishing coat of pavement back in the 1950s when it was built, and wondered what could be done nowadays. He also spoke about the Redwood Inn property, which he said has not been regularly mowed, and also features a sign that is “a disgrace.”
Township administrator James Naples said the town attorney has been working on that particular property, for a formal subdivision and auction if it is approved by the council. The Redwood Inn property will then have to be cleaned up by its new owner.
“Fairly shortly, we should see action by the council,” said Naples.
Concerning Delaware Drive, Naples said the township engineer will examine the road, as the town doesn't want water to pool up. Daniels asked if the town could also put down stone near his home by the intersection, ostensibly for traction, and Naples said he would look into the matter.
Delaware Drive resident Sarah Scott said she is concerned for her children, as they often converge near the bottom corner of the street near Crim Road, where she said the top apron freezes in wintertime. She said she fears cars losing control as they whip around the corner, especially in such conditions.
Sam Scott, of Delaware Drive, said the road had been patched temporarily in the past, to no avail.
“It’s almost as bad as what was there before,” he said.
He also spoke about cars whipping around on the road, looking to avoid bumps. He said he has never gotten any response from the engineer, which prompted council president Christine Henderson Rose to say that he will, or else he should call her.
Harold Patel, of Delaware Drive, called the corner and the whole road “atrocious,” and spoke about how his wife sprained her ankle when she had fell into a pothole there.
“I don’t want to see our kids get hurt,” said Patel. “I’d like it to be taken care of.”
Daniel said the town did salt the ice that developed on Delaware Drive during the winter, and responded when residents called about it, although he still feels the road situation “has to be addressed.”
Another Delaware Drive resident asked how the town allocates how its roads are paved. Naples said the process starts in the late fall, as the engineer makes recommendations to the council. Public input is also taken into account, but is not the only factor involved.
The resident also said there was no base coat that had been put down on Delaware Drive, and the cold patch that had been put in place was already deteriorating.
Prior to a vote on a bond ordinance for over $5.6 million for various road improvements in the township, Councilman Filipe Pedroso thanked the Delaware Drive residents for coming out, and said he was impressed by their organized turnout. He pointed out, though, that the council did not choose the roads that would be repaved.
The roads were picked by the administration, and the council then encourages the administration to follow up.
Council Vice President Matthew Moench said he had a two-fold dilemma regarding the matter. He asked how the particular roads were selected, and said he had never received a copy of an ad hoc defining spreadsheet from 2016, despite repeated requests for information. He said that he did not want to delay projects, but added he did not know about staff input or the road rating system that was employed, and that that information had not been given to the council to analyze and question. The bond ordinance then passed by a 4-0 vote of the present council members.
Moench also spoke about another bond ordinance for $547,000 that would have included new park signage for around $70,000. He thought that perhaps the $70,000 could instead go to Delaware Drive, although he added there was no guarantee.
That ordinance was ultimately deadlocked by a 2-2 vote of the council, and thus did not pass.