Hurrah! Scott Road project deemed complete

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:34

    After many years and some troubles it’s all over, By Mark J. Yablonsky FRANKLIN — Finally, it’s over. At long last, the borough has declared “mission accomplished,” in the words of administrator Richard R. Wolak. The Scott Road project, seven years, some $250,000 or more and a fair amount of frustration later, was announced completed on May 12 by the borough. The project, designed to stabilize and even reposition the roadway at the northern end, was “a very ardent and complicated journey from its inception,” beginning in 2002, Wolak said. After initially approving the work in 2002, the borough encountered delays in obtaining state grant money that would offset local costs. During that time, costs continued to escalate, councilman Jack Stoll explained. In fact, the town eventually was forced to re-bid the work, with Marvec Construction of Verona getting the job. It’s never easy However, Marvec and the town later became embroiled in monetary and business disputes, which at one point last fall led to a temporary work stoppage, “until we were able to work out the details,” Wolak said. “Oh. I’m glad,” commented Stoll last week, one day after the project’s completion. “I think we solved a (big) problem there. I wish we could get more state aid to do more roads in town.” At least part of the difficulty lay in the fact that the northern end of Scott Road is actually above the Wallkill River, a topographical malady that led to erosion of the roadway — which was “actually sliding down the hill,” borough officials agreed. “So we had to deal with it in three distinct phases,” Wolak explained. “Phase one involved engineering studies and soil borings to determine how to stabilize the slope. Phase two involved the actual stabilization of the slope and the repositioning of the roadway; and Phase three involved the installation and the paving, and the installation of the guide rails to complete the project.” Part of the solution also involved the installation of a retention wall to halt the erosion, Stoll added. “And they fixed the storm system, too,” said Stoll, who is the lone councilman remaining from 2002. “We had a collapsed storm drain and that didn’t help the situation, either.” Other business Borough council also approved — on first reading — a new ordinance designed specifically to put an end to the congestion and aggressive speeding along both Ridgewood and Walsh roads. The law would call for a 15 mph speed limit, authorize the installation of two stops where the road bends perpendicularly, and the closing of the Ridgewood-Buckwheat roads intersection during school days only. Another aspect of the proposed law would restrict to one-way the last 100 feet of Walsh Road leading into Route 23. Left-hand turns would be banned both from Walsh onto 23, and from 23 onto Walsh. This measure needs approval from the state Department of Transportation “only because it interacts with a state highway,” Wolak explained. “The law’s been relaxed so that you don’t need DOT approval for municipal roads only.” Even if the DOT rejects the one-way plan, Franklin plans to enact the other aspects of this ordinance, possibly as soon as May 26.