The Washington Township Committee has finished its preliminary budget discussions and the overwhelming majority of capital improvement funds is scheduled to be allocated to repairing the towns’ roads.
The winter of 2013-14 wreaked havoc on pavement throughout northern New Jersey, but sections of Washington Township became nearly impassable at times, specifically after a nor’easter that dumped a foot of snow on the area in the middle of February.
The township is setting aside $720,000 for road improvements in 2014, according to administrator Andrew Coppola. In addition, the township is seeking a grant in the amount of $200,000 for a specific project.
That grant, if awarded, would be put toward the reconstruction and repaving of East Valley Brook Road between Old Farmers Road and the Tanners Brook Bridge, which was completely replaced in 2011.
A large section of the northern portion of Naughright Road would also be completely reconstructed. Portions of Black River Road and Hacklebarney Road are part of the plans as well, and would be reclaimed and repaved, Coppola said.
An additional seven miles of roadway would receive the oil and chip treatment with the funds as well.
Two of the top-ranked roadways included Bartley Road and Schooley’s Mountain Road. Unfortunately for locals, the fixing of those roadways is up to the county, as they are owned at the Morris level.
But the county has taken notice, Coppola said, and has told Washington Township it will repave large portions of those roads in 2014.
On Bartley Road, repaving done by the county would stretch from the intersection with East Mill Road all the way down to the intersection of South Four Bridges Road, at the corner of West Morris Central’s campus – a total of 2.5 miles of roadway.
Two sections of Schooley’s Mountain Road are also in the plans. First, from the light in the center of Long Valley on the southern end of the roadway heading north for 1.5 miles to Springtown Road would be repaved. Another mile of the road from Newburgh Road down to the township line (a bridge crossing over the Musconetcong River) would be fixed as well, adding an entire mile to the plans, Coppola said.
But as of now, the plans are just that, and came with a message from the county that the plans, in their entirety, could be subject to change.
Another strip of devastated pavement mentioned by readers is on Parker Road, between Old Farmers Road and Rt. 24. Only a portion of that is owned by Washington Township, while the majority runs through Chester Township.
The roadway recently underwent a major upheaval as a new water line was laid below the pavement between both towns. The project has been put on hold due to the rough winter, and a schedule to resume has yet to be established.
Part of the $7 million project includes resurfacing the entire roadway as well.
Any roadwork that will cost more than $17,500 in Washington Township will require outside contractors and have to go to bid through the township. Paving projects will likely begin during the summer months and road closures will be announced in advance.