Pricey Project May Knock Down Road Repaving

Officials are concerned that a major road renovation in town will take up most of Mahwah’s roads budget, leaving damaged roads unpaved this year

Roadwork to fix a corroded underground pipe underneath W. Airmount Ave. in Mahwah is going to be more complicated, and more expensive, than originally planned. Because of the $725,000 project, officials in the township are expressing concern that other roads will need to go unpaved this year.

According to Township Engineer Mike Kelly, a pipe underneath W. Airmount Rd. in Mahwah needs to be completely replaced. Last year, the township council delayed the roadwork a year because of the long process to get the DEP permits necessary to complete the work, and because of the large price tag associated with the project, then anticipated to be under $600K.

However, at a recent town council meeting, Kelly said the project was going to cost more, likely about $725,000.

The roadwork – which is planned to start as soon as school lets out this summer – will be “more complex,” than originally planned, Kelly said at the meeting.

The work will also require a complete road closure for an extended period of time that may spill over into the start of the 2013-14 school year. Kelly said the township will be in touch with the schools throughout the construction to coordinate any changes to bus routes that might be necessitated by the project.

Town council members also said that the township fire department may be impacted by the work, since W. Airmount is the only connection between the east and west sides of town under which the largest Mahwah fire truck can fit.

In addition to the logistical questions raised by the upcoming project, Council President Harry Williams expressed concerns at a budget hearing for the Department of Public Works last week that the price may prohibit the township from funding other road paving projects this year.

The W. Airmount project plus a $265,000 project to repair a portion of Macarthur Boulevard will take up most or all of the 2013 road repair budget, Williams said.

The planned fixes will “have us repairing one mile of roadway out of about 90 total miles of roads in the township,” Williams said. “I have a problem with this.”

Williams pointed out several roadways in Mahwah that he called a “total disgrace,” and said were in desperate need of repair.

The councilman said he would be closely assessing the capital expenditures of other township departments at upcoming budget hearings in an effort to reallocate some more money to spend on the 2013 Roads Program.

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Constancio Almeida February 20, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Pot Holes that come up on you suddenly scare the daylights out of a person. These need to be fixed. Its a safety issue as you ten to lose control of your car. I have hit a few so far and my car will need an alignment. Money to be spent that I do not have
Mike Kupchik February 21, 2013 at 12:06 AM
Heavy trucks may have helped ruin Macarthur, just as one former landscaper did to Moffatt, but we were lucky a botched patch after a water main break got us a re-pave months ago. We had vehicles losing plastic wheel-well inner sections before the fix! I so sympathize with you all, doing your utmost to avoid the potholes now. Maybe our Mayor, AKA Mahwah Sunoco boss, will discount replacement tires?
Regenbogen February 21, 2013 at 04:51 PM
I believe some of Mahwah's "chosen", not high traffic streets, are smooth as glass. Makes for a grand entrance!
Andy Schmidt February 21, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Certainly, one would hope that there are many low frequency roads that are still in very good shape!? Now, if they would learn how to BUILD roads (and how to surface them properly), they'd last as long as in countries like Germany (yes, there are significant differences in road construction standards - which accounts for the constant state of disrepair, and the high maintenance cost of our infrastructure in THIS country. Consequently less money is available to municipalities and states for other necessary projects & services...).
Bill Goffredo February 22, 2013 at 03:27 AM
About a week before the last snow storm Storms Drive had a few of its "many" holes patched. 2 days later (and before the snow) the patch job was torn up and big chunks of asphalt were strewn about the street. Horrible job DPW. I've got pictures to show you the great work... Every year the same holes widen, they get a terrible patch job and it is now an obstacle course to go down the street so you don't ruin a rim or tire. Very frustrating!


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