Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

South Avenue: Setting the record straight

Work on South Avenue got under way in June, 2000.

Donna Albanese and other Plainwood Square Merchant Association officers
with Mayor Al McWilliams at Plainwood Square.

I get so annoyed at the almost willfully ignorant representations by the Robinson-Briggs administration of the history of the South Avenue reconstruction project.

The project was finally passed last night over the objections of Councilors Reid ('the state should pay for it'), Greaves ('the amount is obscene') and Rivers ('it's been done once, other areas should get a turn') and the City will now award the bid.

However, we had to hear the same old mishmash from the administration about when South Avenue was previously worked on, what the condition of the roadbed is, and why it should be done at all.

When Mayor Robinson-Briggs' previous city administrator Marc Dashield misrepresented the roadway's history in a 2009 presentation, I set out the true history of the project, how it had been rescued from oblivion by Mayor Al McWilliams when NJDOT grants were about to expire unused, how everyone knew the roadbed's condition and that there was no money to reconstruct the road at that time (2000), how the project included storm sewers and drainage as well as a 'cosmetic' mill-and-pave which everyone knew would be only temporary, and how UEZ funds were tapped for streetscaping. And so on (the original post is here).

Storm sewers and drainage were an integral part of 2000 project.

There were never any grounds to sue the contractor for shoddy work as everyone knew the condition of the roadbed going in.

What is disappointing is that in 2009, with the economy in total tailspin and President Obama putting enormous amounts of money into play for 'shovel ready' public works projects, the Robinson-Briggs administration did not fight to get the South Avenue project approved as one of its ARRA-funded projects. This would have been the time to nail the State's responsibility for the roadway. Opportunity missed.

So, two cheers for us for finally getting this project to the action phase.

Let's see if it will be completed before winter weather forces a halt.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

You're kidding, right? The reason Greaves gave for refusing the project is because "the amount is obscene? That's it!

The people of the 1st and 4th wards better not complain of a thing. They have councilmembers who will not ask their community to be a part of a PMUA task force. Wards 1 & 4 complain they are not being represented - well, they voted for it. They had best not complain.

Bob said...

It's too bad that we can't trust Sharon's appointed representatives. This administration definately lacks forsight and morals. Sharon has proven that over and over again. Vera Greaves is an air head and simply follows Sharon or Jerry's lead, whether it's good for Plainfield or not. Too bad for the people in her Wards. I hope they think twice the next time they vote.

GB said...

the ONLY thing that needs to be done to have the state highway dept take over Route 28 is for legitration to be passed by Mr Green to force it. Obviously the staff at the Highway dept will not voluntarly accept the extra work, why should they unless they are forced to !! Sort of like the council passing ordinance requiring streets in the city to be closed/opened for events, but the ball in only in Mr Green's seat.