Hamilton’s Road Repairs Shift into High Gear
Several Local Road Repair Efforts Moving Forward This Spring as Hamilton Invests into Improving Township Roads
Being responsible for approximately 625 lane miles of local roads is no easy tasks, yet this spring, Hamilton Township road repair efforts are shifting into high gear. Some very recent and highly noticeable signs include the repaving of Klockner Road, between Whitehorse-Mercerville Road and Hamilton Avenue, and the beginning of repairs to South Broad Street, from the White Horse Circle to Lalor Street, funded by PSEG.
With over $5.3 million planned to be invested as part of Hamilton’s 2011 Capital Budget for roads, 18 local roads will be reconstructed and portions of an additional 17 roads will be completed by Hamilton’s Public Works Department. Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo explains his desire to improve the condition of the community’s roads.
“I drive our roads every single day, just like every other Hamilton resident; and I share their same desire to improve our roads as quickly as we reasonably can. Over the past three and a half years, we have made investing in our local roads a major priority; and that is a priority that I intend to continue throughout my term of service,” explains Mayor Bencivengo. “We have also increased our community’s level of investment in our local roads, while maintaining our financial responsibilities to the taxpayers – as for the past four budgets, the township tax rate has not increased.”
With the Township Council’s approval of this year’s Capital Budget for Road Repairs, the Township will have invested nearly $19.3 million in road improvements alone over the past three and a half years (or $5.5 million per year), which will fund 58 roads or intersections (or 16.5 per year) being reconstructed.
Twenty-year plus career public servant, Township Engineer Richard S. Williams, puts the level of Hamilton’s recent investments into perspective. “Hamilton Township has increased the level of investment into repairing local roads over the past three years,” says Williams. “When any community does not preserve adequate funding for road repairs, that community’s overall road network will increasingly deteriorate in its totality. That essentially makes catching back up to an adequate level an increasingly difficult task.”
Determining the roads that are in the greatest need for repair involves a system in which all township road sections (some longer roads are separated into sections) are inspected and given a road quality rating. Each year, Hamilton addresses some of the lowest rated roads in the community. The ratings run from 0, the lowest score to 100 a newly paved road. When the program began streets with rating in the “20’s” were repaved, we are now addressing streets with ratings of “40” or less.
By prioritizing roads based upon their need for repair and encompassing roads in neighborhoods and areas all across our community, Hamilton’s increased investment aims at enhancing the condition of the township’s overall road infrastructure.
Mayor Bencivengo’s administration did something different to expand the Township’s ability to repave more roads. Using existing employees, the Mayor created a paving crew within Hamilton’s Department of Public Works’ Road Division. The Division began to make additional road repairs that were needed, but would otherwise not take place until future years. These “in-house” projects could either be completed cost-effectively with Township paving equipment or they would repair deteriorating sections of roads without the unnecessary costs of having to reconstruct the entire road at a greater expense.
In 2009, over $223,000 was invested to make additional “in-house” repairs; and in 2010, $440,000 was invested to complete 22 paving projects, including portions of Liberty Street and Sunnybrae Boulevard. This year, Hamilton will repair portions of an additional 17 roads through this “in-house” repaving program.
In addition to Hamilton’s Capital Budget road repairs and “in-house” paving projects, the Township’s Division of Public Works also continues its routine pot hole repairs. Currently, pot holes located on Township primary roads are being filled. Following this, pot holes located on secondary or neighborhood roads will be addressed.
“When a resident sees a pot hole, they can easily call our HamStat Call Center at 586-0311 and give us the location. Our Road Division will receive the request and be deployed to fill the pot hole,” explains Mayor Bencivengo. “Our efforts are ongoing, and will continue to make as many repairs as we can, moving forward, while remaining fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars. These road repairs are an investment in the future of ‘America’s Favorite Hometown’ and will benefit residents for years to come.”