BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Mountainside Lane needs major repairs to its road surface, and needs them as soon as possible, according to a plea made by residents of that local thoroughfare to the Bridgewater Township Council.
Resident Dianne Ehrlich said construction work on Mountainside Lane ceased in December. She added that the main issue is one of safety, especially due to the presence of gravel, and that the road was poorly built.
“There are a lot of senior citizens on our road,” she told the council, and added that the potential of fractured hips is a real cause for concern among seniors, which could lead to nursing home stays or even death.
Ehrlich also said that the current situation has been reduced to attorneys fighting over who will actually repair the road.
“There’s gravel by my mail box,” she said, before adding that rain has also been washing the road away.
Council president Matthew Moench said that Mountainside Lane is a dispute among contractors, and that the law is not always helpful.
Township administrator James Naples said he spoke to township attorney William Savo, who is working on the town’s behalf to solve the dispute.
Naples also said that both contractors had erred and both were culpable. The same contractors will be tasked to fix the road, although the project’s design will be altered.
Safety concerns will be forwarded to the township engineer, while Mountainside Lane resident John Seebu said that safety is the biggest concern of all.
“We’ve waited 35 years now,” Seebu said.
Seebu added that there is no proper communication being made to the residents, which is a safety issue in itself. He added that ditches in the road make it more likely there could be both vehicular and pedestrian accidents, and he said he wanted the council to know it had been informed of the situation.
Moench replied that he would pass on any new information he received, and that residents in turn could contact him or Naples.
Councilman Filipe Pedroso asked why the road repairs had been stopped, and Moench responded that the design had been found to be inaccurate during construction.
“Somebody dropped the ball,” said Pedroso.
Naples said no one had dropped the ball, and that the dispute is why construction had been halted, as both the designer and the contractor had erred.
Mountainside Lane resident Jeanne Kursay reiterated that water is actually eroding the roadway, and she asked if the road department could fill it in from one side to the other.
“It’s really bad,” she said.
Seebu added that there are underground springs with water pipes located underneath Mountainside Road, but that contractors have ignored that information from the residents.
“An easy fix becomes an elongated problem,” he said.
Councilman Allen Kurdyla said he sympathizes with the residents, and that he has confidence in the township’s engineer and administration.
“We will do it,” said Kurdyla.
Naples asked if the township engineer had responded to them regarding their concerns, and Seebu said he has not heard from the engineer in four months.