ROSELLE, NJ - A comprehensive road improvement plan, showcasing the extensive capital improvements made throughout the Borough in 2015 and 2016, was released by Borough officials to illustrate Roselle’s capital needs, particularly as small towns throughout New Jersey are tasked to keep roads safe and passable amid budget constraints and other challenges.
The process began in 2010? when Maser Consulting, P.A., was authorized by Mayor Christine Dansereau and the Borough Council to prepare a pavement management system for the Borough’s 39.6 miles of municipal roadways, and to maintain them in safe operational condition.At that time, Mayor Dansereau, then a Councilwoman, proposed a cost effective plan to assess and select roads throughout the five wards in need of repair from the worst to those recently improved, and to distribute grant and tax payer funds for road repair and maintenance fairly and in order of condition.
Said Dansereau, “To this end an evaluation system of all our existing roads was set in a twenty year plan to provide a financial planning tool for the Borough to budget the necessary funds annually to maintain an acceptable roadway system.
In addition, the mayor recommended that the borough’s decaying sewer system be repaired simultaneously with the scheduled road repairs in order to prevent unnecessary costs due to sewer system failures after roads were repaired as was done in the past. “A timely rehabilitation program rather than allowing the road to fail then reconstructing costs significantly less and saves the tax payers money while improving road safety and the overall appearance of our town.”
This road management program includes curbing, tree removal, sidewalk repairs and new aprons. “Every roadway has been mapped in each of the five wards of the borough along with the condition of each and every one so there is no second guessing or discriminating in the selection of the roads for repairs when it comes time to do the work,” Mayor Dansereau reported.
Borough Administrator David G. Brown II said the plan, which comprises all or portions of nearly 50 Borough throughways, has been years in the making. “In Roselle and in so many older towns around the state, it’s critical to make these necessary upgrades to our infrastructure.”
Councilman Reginald Atkins says, the investment in the Borough’s infrastructure is among Roselle’s top priorities. “We have to look at these improvements as a long-term investment in the Borough,” Atkins said. “This is just as much about having sturdy, passable roadways, as it is about promoting bicycle safety, creating safe access at our crosswalks for children and residents with disabilities, and improving our neighborhoods in ways that can increase our property values,” he added.
“Nearly five years ago, the Borough began setting aside funds for a multi-year road improvement effort. We have our long-term goals and then each year, we assess our roadways again to make sure we remain on track,” Atkins added.
Third Ward Councilwoman Andrea Staten placed an emphasis on quality of life stating that the Third Ward saw major improvements to several roads feeding into Chestnut Street. “People gauge their community based on their day-to-day experiences and interactions. This is one significant way that we can ensure that the Borough is providing the level of services our residents demand,” she said.
Fifth Ward Councilman Samuel Bishop, whose jurisdiction is experiencing residential development on what used to be the Roselle Golf Club, said budgeting for long-term capital improvements is essential for any future development.
“As is the case with any project, we have to consider the impact on our roads and sidewalks,” Bishop said. “This project does just that as we plan for the future.”
Funding for the project includes capital provided by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and from Community Development Block Grants, as well as funds reserved for the Borough's long-term capital improvement plans.
The Pavement Management System Manual will soon be available on the Borough of Roselle website.