Moorestown to address backlog of roads in need of repair

Township Manager Thomas Neff said he’s proposing an increase in funding allocated toward the township’s repaving program.

It’s that time of the year again. The streets have been soaked in salt and snow all winter long, and the asphalt has taken its fair share of abuse. With the local roads in need of a little TLC, Moorestown Township has plans to address some of the bumpiest rides.

Township Manager Thomas Neff said he’s proposing an increase in funding allocated toward the township’s repaving program. Last year, the township allocated around $2 million toward repaving, but by his latest estimates, Neff foresees a significant increase in the upcoming budget with as much as $1 million more being allocated this year.

Getting Moorestown’s roads in top shape can prove to be a nearly year-long process. Neff said there is a backlog of maintenance that needs to be addressed, but it’s often not as simple as just repaving. He said in some cases when the township repaves, they also have to add more stormwater drainage to prevent future flooding.

Neff said given the excess rain this past year, drainage has proven to be a challenge on some roads in town, and their priority is to make sure the water is draining properly and not making its way toward residents’ properties.

Every year, council approves an appropriation in the budget that allows for a down payment on bonds that are issued for road improvements.

“Roads included in the annual road repaving and improvement program are based on a recommendation from our public works department, which has the most up-to-date understanding of the most pressing needs since they are regularly on all township roads,” Neff said.

Neff said the repaving is often simultaneously accompanied by the aforementioned storm water and drainage improvements, which makes road repairs a longer process than many residents realize. While public works can easily fill a pothole, the storm water management is more involved and requires the township to hire an engineer. The engineer, in turn, assesses the road to determine how much needs tearing up and what paving materials they will have to use. After the roads are assessed, the town’s engineer puts together the plans and specifications for repaving, which can take six months or longer depending on how many roads need to be engineered.

From there, the bidding for all the repaving goes out at the same time to get the benefit of price efficiencies from bidders. Neff said if they did the bidding one road at a time, the township would end up paying more in the long run.

The last road repaving and improvements program identified the following roads in 2018: E. Third Street (Borton’s Landing Road to Public Works Yard), N. Stanwick Road (Main Street to Oak Avenue), Golfview Road (Elm Street to Park Drive), Eaglebrook Drive (Sentinel Road to Sentinel Road), High Street (Wagon Bridge Run to Sutton Avenue), Cooper Avenue (High Street to Perry Avenue), Somers Place, Forest Road (Kings Highway to Springhouse Lane), Cottage Avenue (Camden Avenue to Browning Avenue), Beacon Street (Woodlane Drive to End), Circle Drive (Beacon Street to End), Mill Street (Bartram Road to Lippincott Avenue), Wagon Bridge Run, portions of Garwood Road and Walnut Avenue.

These projects are expected to be ready for construction in late spring or early summer and are what the township hopes to achieve within last year’s budgeted funds. However, Neff said it’s possible the bids may come back higher than they anticipated or budgeted for, which could result in a delay to some of those streets until 2019.

The Department of Public Works is in the process of preparing a proposed road resurfacing and improvements program to follow-up on the 2018 road resurfacing program. This program is proposed to be more aggressive that past programs, according to Neff. The plan is to resurface a portion of Cox Road near Creek Road including drainage improvements; Farmdale from North Church to Flynn with drainage improvements; and all of Rockland Avenue could see repaving in the proposed program as well as up to a dozen other streets or portions of streets.

Residents with concerns about potholes or other road-related queries can call public works at (856) 235–3520.