Delran’s 2019 Road Program is in its final stages of ironing out details before the work begins. Over the years, the township has tweaked the process in the road program to create a better infrastructure.
This year, the township will be redoing six roads. These roads include Diane Avenue between Patricia Avenue and Swedes Run Drive, the entire length of Patricia Avenue, River Drive between Norman Avenue and Chester Avenue, the entire length of Norman Avenue and Lake Street, and, lastly, Wills Street beginning at Pancoast Boulevard and going to the end.
According to Councilman Tyler Burrell, the way the township picks which streets to redo has evolved over the last few years. Previously, road improvements were quite political, but three major changes have improved the process.
“Previously, the way roads that needed to be redone were picked was based on who someone knew on the council,” said Burrell. “Council also cared about spreading out the roads into each ward.”
Working with limited resources and wanting to take politics out of the equation, the council employed three changes. Those changes would include incorporating a tier system, a public works official and the township engineer.
The public works official and the township engineer provide information on the roads that absolutely need to be redone. They provide information based on environmental concerns as well as the type of work that needs to be done – for example, a mill and overlay or a full reconstruction. The difference between the two is whether just the top of the street needs to be repaved or if the core of the street has to be reconstructed.
The tier program separates the roads into three categories Tier one are the roads in the most critical condition. These are the roads that the council will address first. Tier two are roads that can be fixed, but are not in dire need at the time of picking the roads to do. Also, tier three are all of the other roads within the township.
“By doing the road program this way, we have taken the politics out of it,” said Burrell. “Also, instead of spreading the roads out into different wards, it is more cost-efficient to do roads that connect or are closer together.”
According to Burrell, the reason the township is doing these groups of roads this year is because the county is also planning to add a park trail. Therefore, instead of doing the road work last year and then the county comes and redoes areas that were just done, it would be cost-efficient to do it at the same time.
This year, the road program is looking to be finished before the end of the year. Typically, the road program would not happen until the spring of the following year, but the council is working quickly to complete the project within the same year. This all depends on how the weather will hold up. More information will be reported as the project looms closer.