BERKELEY – Residents have been complaining about the state of Route 9. They have been upset about this road for…well, for decades, actually. But recent construction has just aggravated the problem.
Local officials are fond of saying that there hasn’t been substantial changes to Route 9 since the invention of the automobile. The state has a finite pool of money, and many, many miles of road to maintain. Officials have noted that a lot of that money goes to northern counties.
Berkeley Township officials have been part of the chorus requesting that the State Department of Transportation repave Route 9. They got some good news in that regard.
A letter from the DOT in October of 2020 informed the township of a project called Route 9 Resurfacing, Jones to Longboat, which would start in Lacey Township at Jones Road, just north of Lacey Road, and pave through to Longboat Avenue in Beachwood. Along the way, intersections with traffic signals would be improved.
This project is expected in spring of 2021.
“The Council and I have been eagerly waiting, since 2017, for the repaving of Route 9. Unfortunately, when the previous administration suspended all projects until a permanent funding source for the Transportation Trust Fund was established, this project slipped thru the cracks.” Mayor Carmen Amato said.
And there are a lot of cracks. If you drive along Route 9 today, your car will be bounced around a bit.
That’s because of a New Jersey Natural Gas project. They are installing new gas mains underneath Route 9 between Admiral Avenue in Beachwood and Lacey Boulevard in Lacey. The work is expected to continue through the spring.
Their pavement repairs are “of a temporary nature,” the DOT said. The DOT will be doing maintenance paving in certain spots to hold the area over until a proper repaving in spring.
“We are pleased at the immediate response we received from the Department of Transportation on our request to have Route 9 milled and paved,” Councilman Angelo Guadagno said. “Route 9 has become progressively worse due to the ongoing construction project by New Jersey Natural Gas. We are looking forward to the DOT to make some temporary repairs to make it manageable for travel and certainly look forward to the paving this spring.”
Meanwhile, Berkeley has received funding for a project of their own. They received $401,500 in the DOT’s Municipal Aid Program to reconstruct Butler Boulevard.
“I am very pleased that we have received notification from the Murphy Administration that we will be receiving this grant from the Department of Transportation. Superstorm Sandy decimated the end of Butler Boulevard, including some of the surrounding streets and Butler Beach,” Amato said.
The scope of the work will be Butler Boulevard from Bayview Avenue to Butler Beach. Included in the project will be repairing and replacing drainage, and milling and paving the entire length. The project will also address the drainage at the intersection of North Bay Drive and Butler Boulevard. The remaining section of North Bay Drive will also be paved. Parking lot improvements at Butler Beach will also be done.
“Over the last few years homeowners in that area have rebuilt or are in the process of rebuilding. The drainage system is in desperate need of repair and replacement. This grant is welcomed and appreciated,” Ward 1 Councilman James Byrnes said.
This project is also planned for sprint, Amato said.