CHATHAM, NJ - Chris Vitz, Morris County engineer, came to the Chatham Township Committee meeting Thursday night to explain the upgrades planned for the Shunpike Shopping Corridor between Southern Boulevard and Green Village Road.

The project is budgeted at $700,000 with $600,000 of it paid for by Morris County and up to $90,000 covered by Chatham Township.

The right-turn "slip ramp" from Green Village Road onto Shunpike will be eliminated and a traffic light will be installed there, allowing for entrance and exit into the Chatham Mall opposite the ShopRite parking lot. Right-on-red turns will be allowed at the light.

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The plan also includes removing the island in the middle of Shunpike Road between Green Village Road and Southern Boulevard. That section of the road will be turned into a single lane each way, with a turning lane in the middle.

A sidewalk will be extended from in front of Starbucks toward Green Village Road. There will be six-foot shoulders on both sides of Shunpike.

The approach to Shunpike from Southern Boulevard will be reconfigured into three lanes - a left-hand turn only, a straight only and a right-hand turn only.

Chris Vitz explains the changes that are coming to the Shunpike Road shopping area.

Chatham Township Deputy Mayor Karen Swartz talks about the improvements planned for the roads accessing the Hickory Tree and Chatham Mall shopping areas.

In other business, the township committee amended its municipal budget for 2017 by adding $166,500 to its capital budget. The money will be used to make the five percent down payment projected for a pending open space purchase. The added expenditure will not change the no-increase tax rate for the township since the difference will be covered by the $3,216,500 in surplus spending. 

"The surplus will be replenished in the next budget," Committee member Kevin Sullivan said.