Wright-Debow Road project required to be re-bid

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By Michael Benavides
Staff Writer

JACKSON – A road project that began in June and was then delayed by a construction shutdown associated with a lack of money in New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) will be rebid and undertaken in 2017.

At a meeting on Dec. 13, members of the Township Council passed a resolution authorizing the township engineer to prepare bid specifications and seek bids for improvements to Wright-DeBow Road.

Township Engineer Daniel Burke said the resolution is for a project that was previously approved by the council.

“The project is the same,” he said, explaining that work will begin at the intersection of Route 537 and Wright-Debow Road and extend east for about a half-mile.

“As a result of the TTF shutdown, the project was delayed and must be re-bid. We expect the project to be awarded in the spring and commence shortly thereafter. I would expect completion by the fall,” he said.

Following a shutdown of road construction projects around the state during the summer, New Jersey legislators devised a way to fund the TTF and to get the construction projects moving again.

Burke said improvements on Wright-Debow Road will include drainage, grading, widening, alignment, and curb and pavement reconstruction.

According to the resolution, “a contract will be awarded to the lowest qualified responsible bidder. The Township Council reserves the right to reject any and all bids. The council reserves the right to waive insubstantial irregularities in any bid.”

The original contract for the Wright-Debow project was awarded to DeFino Contracting, Aberdeen Township, in the amount of $729,000. By June, crews had started to clear trees and address utility issues, according to a previous Tri-Town News article.

At the time, Burke said Wright-Debow Road “is one of the more significant through roads in town and it warrants the improvement.”

“When I redo a road, if it is a reconstruction, we try to bring it up to standards,” he said earlier this year. “In days past, we were not so particular about what they call ‘roadway geometry’ like vertical curves and horizontal curves. Given the design speeds, they should be modified and adjusted.”

Burke said about $320,000 of the project’s cost would be covered by a grant from the state Department of Transportation.

In other business on Dec. 13, officials announced that the council will hold its 2017 reorganization meeting at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 3.

During reorganization, professionals who will work for Jackson in 2017 will be hired and residents who will serve on municipal boards and committees will be announced by municipal officials.

Council members Ken Bressi, Barry Calogero and Robert Nixon will be sworn in to begin serving new four-year terms following their victory in the Nov. 8 election.

Tri-Town News Managing Editor Mark Rosman contributed to this article.