RARITAN, NJ - A federally-funded project that will make Raritan a more pedestrian-friendly borough is moving forward.

Borough engineer Stan Schrek has approved the scope and cost of the project, and he has chosen a design firm from the pool of design companies approved by the NJDOT. 

The next step is approval and execution of the contract by the NJ Department of Transportation and the Northern Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.

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With a grant for $1 million, Raritan has embarked on a strategy for pedestrian and bicycle convenience and safety along with an economic development program.

The scope of the work includes pathway and lighting improvements along routes leading from the borough train station to Somerset Street and on to the Raritan River. The streets that will be part of the project plan include Anderson Street, Thompson Street, Somerset Street, Nevius Street, Canal Street, Orlando Drive and the area along the Raritan River.  

“This project will help to re-invent Raritan,” said Mayor Charles McMullin. “It is great for attraction and retention of residents, workers and tourists. I’m excited to see where this takes us.” 

McMullin explained that on any given day, there are over 120,000 cars that drive through the town.

“Many people who live here rightly complain about all the traffic and now is the time for us to make a change,” he said.

The kick-off meeting for the project, held on May 10, was hosted by NJDOT. The discussion set limits and design parameters with the input of a design consultant.

There have also been brainstorming sessions with residents and stakeholders to have input into the planning process. 

Under the NJDOT plan, the borough will be responsible for upfront design costs, however all design costs will be reimbursable to the borough through a supplemental grant. 

It is expected that the design work will continue throughout the winter with construction commencing in the spring of 2020.