Rumors are beginning to circulate that one plan for the huge amounts of rubble and construction debris to be generated by a planned overpass on Route 22 in Somerset County would be to truck it to a site in the Queen City, where it would be dumped.
That would involve, it is said, seventy (70) giant dump trucks full of debris and spewing clouds of dust, rumbling through the city, pounding the streets of Plainfield mercilessly at least five days a week for the duration of the project.
Plainfielders may be forgiven if they have not been following the Route 22 proposal closely.
Here's the gist: The Courier (see here) and the Ledger (see here) began reporting last June on the proposal by the state's Department of Transportation and Somerset County to build an overpass over the busy Route 22 at the Chimney Rock Road crossing in Bridgewater. Part of the project would also eliminate the current -- and dangerous -- turnaround from the westbound to the eastbound lanes, as well as relocating a lightly used freight rail spur to the new overpass.
The project is estimated to cost $60 million, of which $15 million is in the form of a Congressional earmark set aside by Rep. Rodney Freylinghuysen (see here), and included in NJDOT's 2011 Capital Expenditures plan (see here, PDF).
The project, which is expected to take two years to complete, was originally thought to get under way in 2010, but has been delayed.
Rumors are beginning to circulate that part of the reason for the delay has been figuring out what to do with the rubble and construction debris that will have to be removed as part of the project.
And that is where Plainfield comes in. One of the options hoped for by some involved in the project is said to be for Plainfield to be willing to accept the mountains of rubble that will be generated by the removal of the existing roadway, soil and other debris to the former Plainfield rail freight station at North Avenue and Richmond Street.
There is a large tract of vacant land along the Conrail
right-of-way adjacent to the Reinco building (upper center).
The former Railway Express Agency building is currently occupied by Reinco, which sells to the landscape contractor and soil erosion control industries. An aerial view of the property shows a large, unoccupied tract adjacent to the Reinco building along the Conrail right-of-way.
As Plainfield struggles with attracting transit-oriented development along its rail corridor and gaining a coveted 'Transit Village' designation from the State, the prospect of condos gazing out on mountains of concrete rubble are apt to cause potential developers dyspepsia.
But for now, the question remains whether Mayor Robinson-Briggs is in the game or out of the loop?
- Courier: "Bridgewater to connect Chimney Rock Road over Route 22"
- Ledger: "Bridgewater's Chimney Rock Road to cross Rt 22 in $60M project"
- WashingtonWatch: "Earmark Disclosure 31682: Route 22 improvements"
- NJDOT: "2011 Capital Expenditures Plan"
-- Dan Damon [follow]