After years of built up vocal pressure, DOT will now pave Route 9 in Berkeley
There has been years and years of frustration and vocal concern relayed to the NJ-DOT by Berkeley Township government leaders as well as residents and drivers over the physical dangers and bad optics that Route 9 in the Bayville section has imposed on those who cross it.
The Berkeley Township Council and Mayor Carmen Amato have sought answers and paving to get done sooner rather than later for a period of time.
There's been jostling and finger-pointing over who was supposed to get this work done and when.
After learning that the DOT couldn't come in and pave until New Jersey Natural Gas finished their work along this corridor, in March of 2021, the Berkeley Township Council issued a "demand" for NJNG to finish the project they were working on.
NJNG said weather was a factor in their delays and they expected be done in the middle of May.
Then, in June, the Berkeley Council announced the DOT would be sending their contractor to Route 9 to work on the road between Jones Road and Longboat Avenue.
When work by NJNG or, by default NJ-DOT, wasn't done at the end of September of 2021, the Berkeley Council turned up the pressure on the DOT issuing a near ultimatum via a resolution at a council meeting that read, in part, "the paving was originally supposed to take place within the springtime but, due to a project by New Jersey Natural Gas within the area, it was delayed, and additional project delays have pushed the timeline back even further. The township has waited years for the NJDOT to repave Route 9 within the township, as Route 9 is in a complete state of disrepair in certain areas; and the Route 9 corridor is unsafe and creates a dangerous condition, causing major vehicle damage to suspension systems, tires and rims."
And finally, the NJ-DOT responded to that resolution, explaining that they were still waiting for New Jersey Natural Gas to finish up their own work before they could send in their crews.
"The New Jersey Natural Gas project must be finished before NJDOT can do our work. NJNG’s project is advancing, but is not yet complete. However, we are working wherever NJNG has finished," NJ-DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro previously told Townsquare Media News.
At that time, it didn't look like work would be done until 2022 because of the weather outlook.
Now here we are and the NJ-DOT has announced milling and paving work will be done -- this year -- along Route 9 in Berkeley Township.
Prep work will begin on Monday, November 1, with paving starting to take place on Thursday night.
The NJ-DOT contractor, Earle Asphalt Inc., will close Route 9 southbound between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm on Monday with some detours getting set up.
No work will be done tomorrow on Election Day.
Work continues Wednesday through Friday and then closures begin src news can reset manholes in order to repave the road.
Paving, work will begin near Longboat Avenue and then crews will head south to near the bridge over Cedar Creek and then they will head back north.
The NJ-DOT also announced that on Thursday from 8:00 pm until 6:00 am on Friday morning, as well as for approximately three weeks afterwards, the same southbound lane on Route 9 will be closed with alternate routes set up so that crews can get paving done.
Once the southbound side is done, crews will then pave the northbound side of Route 9.
The DOT said that "paving is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving."
There's been days, weeks, months and years of waiting for this paving to get done -- now, that vision is becoming a reality.