The 2019 Berlin Borough Road Improvement Program began its projects during the last full week of September, with nearly 15 locally owned roads to be resurfaced and updated between now and the end of the year.
This year, the Road Improvement Program was awarded to South State, Inc. for $478,055, with $300,000 being covered via grant funding from the state Department of Transportation.
This year’s roads include Birch, Hardie and Sumner avenues, Atlantic Avenue between McClellan and Cushman avenues, Linden Avenue along the White Horse Pike, Fieldstone Lane, Split Rail Court, Colonial Park Road, Constitution Boulevard along Wayside Road, Liberty Court, Surrey Court, West Taunton Avenue, Moss Avenue from Estaugh Avenue to West Broad and Moss from Rich to Thackara Avenue.
According to Councilman Andrew Simone, the borough had Environmental Resolutions, Inc. perform an evaluation of the entire network of locally owned roads within Berlin Borough earlier this year.
“They did an assessment of all our locally owned roads and provided us with a physical description and proposal of repair,” said Simone.
The report returned to Berlin Borough Council looked at each road that the borough is responsible for maintaining, giving a description of the road’s current status, estimated cost to reconstruct, potential additional areas along the road that needed addressing and more.
The roads were evaluated on three factors: condition, road type and traffic. Road type and traffic were rated on a one through five ranking system, while condition was ranked one through 10 due to condition being deemed “the most important factor in selecting which roads to repair first,” according to the report.
Roadway improvement items include resurfacing the top two to three inches of the existing surface with new asphalt and repainting street markings while also installing handicap ramps, repairing concrete curb damage and replacing inlet grates with bike safe grates, where all are applicable.
Simone says that the borough is looking to perform projects in entire neighborhoods on a yearly basis so as to most quickly address problems, rather than return to neighborhoods repeatedly, which would prolong any potential inconvenience to residents.
“One of the main goals is to do it neighborhood-by-neighborhood,” said Simone. “We don’t want to do a part of the neighborhood one year, then do another a year later and then finish it that development on the third year. We’re trying to do it all in one year. We don’t want to break it out over multiple years, but instead have it finished within one phase.”
Through the five-year program approved by the Berlin Borough Council, Simone says the anticipated cost for road improvements in estimated to be $500,000 annually, with $300,000 in anticipated grants and $200,000 from the borough.