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.