WESTFIELD, NJ— If a utility has to tear up roadways for repairs – as was done this past year for gas main improvements — it will have to repave the full width of those roads, under a new regulation approved by the municipal government.

The regulation approved by the Town Council last week requires that streets opened for utility repairs be restored “curb-to-curb” within 100 feet around the area of the opening.

“The goal of this ordinance is to protect our investment as we embark on the most significant road paving initiative in the Town’s history,” said Mayor Shelley Brindle in a statement.

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“As utilities continuously need to excavate our roads as part of their infrastructure repairs and maintenance, we are now requiring them to restore these surfaces upon completion of their work through full-width, curb-to-curb paving on any area greater than 50 feet that has been disrupted.”

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The Town Council approved the ordinance with little discussion July 9, following a public hearing at which no members of the public spoke on the measure. A previous practice by utilities left inconsistent repaving of varying quality, officials said.

The updated regulation also includes a requirement that a temporary patch is immediately installed until a topcoat can be applied, and that the “cold patch” is replaced within six months. In addition, the regulation requires utilities to give the town 24 hours advance notice of all street closings, except where the work is “emergent in nature.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Elizabethtown Gas said the cost of road restoration is part of the overall cost of serving its customers.

“Increasing paving requirements can significantly escalate those costs for a utility and, ultimately, for its ratepayers,” the company told TAPinto Westfield. “While the requirement for restoration of un-impacted areas exceeds that which we see in most of our service territory, we remain committed to safely serving our customers and partnering as best we can with local leaders to ensure reliable, affordable service to their residents.”

The new regulation follows what Westfield municipal officials have described as a historic investment in road paving this year.

In May, the Town Council had approved $3.7 million in paving projects for 31 sections of roadway to be repaved this year, officials said.

Read the full updated regulation herepdf.

For the town’s full list of roads being resurfaced, visit https://www.westfieldnj.gov/roadimprovements.

Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh

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