By Samantha Brandbergh
A reconstruction project will soon take place after the Pennington Borough Council unanimously awarded a contract during its Dec. 3 meeting.
The project, which will cost $566,000, will involve the repaving of East Curlis Avenue and Weidel Drive in Pennington. The contract was awarded to Earle Asphalt.
In 2016, the council was awarded a $240,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, leaving $326,000 to be paid from short-term borrowing, which officials hope to pay off in two to three years, Councilman Glen Griffiths said.
The decision to award the contract came after some debate, with council members raising concerns over the grant amount and “redefining the scope” of the project.
Griffiths said he was “uncomfortable” given the grant amount and the amount of work that needs to be done. However, the council set a deadline of Dec. 6 to award the contract.
“If we let this lapse, our next chance to apply would be the 2020 grant cycle,” council President Joseph Lawver said. “We would have to explain to the DOT why we let a $240,000 grant lapse and then come back to them with the same project.”
Curlis Avenue stretches an estimated quarter-mile and Weidel Drive is about 528 feet long.
Last year, both roads were opened so that water lines could be replaced, Lawver said, adding that Weidel Drive is prone to flooding due to prolonged drainage problems.
“Weidel is a bigger project [than Curlis Avenue] because we are trying to address the drainage issues that have caused the road to be in such bad shape for so many years,” Lawver said. “In my mind, Curlis was a cheap project, and I didn’t think we were doing much on Weidel. But [drainage] has been a problem.”
Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2019 and expected to last three months, according to Lawver and Borough Administrator Eileen Heinzel.