The voices of concern and frustration have been heard regarding paving Route 9 in Berkeley Township as local government leaders, residents and commuters have echoed similar remarks.

Earlier this week, the Berkeley Township Council introduced a resolution "demanding" that the NJDOT immediately begin plans to have Route 9 paved, citing safety concerns, chief among others.

This is a long running project, one that takes time and with it frustration on many fronts but nonetheless continues to move forward.

When things will be completed is not yet known and that's not what anyone wants to hear.

The NJDOT wants to get the work done too on Route 9 in Berkeley, but they're still waiting for New Jersey Natural Gas to finish their work.

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"NJDOT is aware of the town’s concerns and is in the process of setting up a meeting with local officials to discuss the project and clarify some confusion between an unrelated New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) project on Route 9 in Berkeley and NJDOT’s project," NJDOT Spokesman Steve Schapiro told Townsquare Media News on Friday afternoon.

Now, the NJDOT did begin work in July but on the curbs, sidewalks, and ADA ramps but they couldn't do much more.

Schapiro explains that the reason being is because "some areas adjacent to the roadway were washed out and required redesign."

This part of the project should be done by the end of 2021 as the DOT goal is to complete the curb work, ADA ramps and guiderail improvements.

They can't pave though right now, until New Jersey Natural Gas is done on Route 9 in Berkeley.

"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," Schapiro said.

Time is ticking down though in 2021, perhaps about one month left.

As the temperatures drop and weather gets tricky, asphalt companies close up shop for the winter by about November as the material doesn't stick as well to roads when it's cold out.

So, time is running out for the chance Route 9 in Berkeley gets paved in 2021, with 2022 more likely at this point.

"The application of HPTO (High Performance Thin Overlay) is temperature sensitive. Milling, paving and application of the HPTO was always expected to begin in the spring of 2022," Schapiro said. "Electrical work also will be completed for traffic signal upgrades. The entire project is anticipated to be complete by fall 2022."

The entire project comes with a hefty price tag but ultimately will provide a much needed boost to Route 9 in Berkeley.

"The Department has a $9.1 million pavement and intersection improvements project on Route 9 between Jones Road in Lacey and Longboat Avenue in Beachwood, which goes through Berkeley," Schapiro said. "The project will improve approximately eight miles of Route 9, including lighting, traffic signal upgrades, construction of ADA compliant curbs and ramps, sidewalks, milling and paving, and application of High Performance Thin Overlay (HPTO)."

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