ROXBURY, NJ – Unwilling to wait for the state to distribute money for transportation projects, Morris County officials recently approved short-term financing for 32 miles of county road repaving. Only about a mile of this work will take place in Roxbury.
The county freeholders voted March 11 to issue short-term bond anticipation notes to “temporarily replace state matching funds so the county will not have to delay or postpone the road projects while waiting for state funding,” according to a statement by Morris County Administrator John Bonanni.
He said the short-term funding “will allow the county to move full-speed-ahead this spring and summer” on repaving 32 miles of county roads at a cost of about $10.2 million. The projects will be spread over 20 municipalities, said Bonanni.
However, county spokesman Larry Ragonese said Roxbury’s share of the money includes only two projects: The repaving of Mt. Arlington Boulevard from Landing Road to Auriemma Court, a 1.2-mile stretch, and a continuation of preliminary design for the replacement of the Landing Road bridge that spans the NJ Transit railroad tracks.
“The Mount Arlington Boulevard project has not yet been bid for engineering and design,” Ragonese said. “It’s a proposed project for later this year.”
There are about 14 miles of county road in Roxury.
The county had already allocated $6.2 million for road and bridge work to take place this year. It anticipates receiving about $4 million from the state Department of Transportation to offset that amount, said Bonanni.
“However, state budget problems have delayed distribution of those state dollars for Morris and all other counties across the state,” he said. “Board members stressed this is a cash flow management issue that will not increase the county’s debt, and noted the short-term notes will be promptly repaid when state funding comes through.”
In the statement, freeholder David Scapicchio said it was imperative for the county to get the road projects going. “We believe that with oil prices still depressed we may have an opportunity right now to get some good bid prices on our projects,” Scapicchio said. “We don’t want to delay.”