Mayor Moench Presents Road Assessment Results and Road Plan to Council
Bridgewater, NJ – Last night, at a Special Bridgewater Township Council meeting, Mayor Moench and members of his Administration presented the results of the Universal Road Assessment (URA) and a plan to utilize the data for a township roadway improvement plan.
The presentation was kicked off by representatives from Pennoni Associates, the engineering firm who conducted the URA, described the process of conducting the study which included driving every Township controlled road in Bridgewater and taking images every 10 feet. They then used the artificial intelligence platform, Roadbotics, to assess each segment of roads and applying a numerical 1-5 rating (1 being the best, 5 being the worst) along with an accompanying color (green being the best and red being the worst). This data was then integrated with an interactive map which clearly showed the condition of each roadway.
Following the presentation by Pennoni, Township Engineer William Burr described how the Township is proposing to utilize this data to create an effective and efficient road plan. He proposed to the Council, dividing the Township in to 6 road improvement sub-regions. The road projects in these sub-regions would be bid as packages for both the engineering work and construction. This tactic will ensure not only that every area of the Township is seeing roadwork every year, but it will lead to increased efficiency for the Engineering Department and cost savings while utilizing economies of scale with the packaging of several roads within one bid package.
“We are looking to take a holistic, neighborhood approach when designing these bid packages,” said Township Engineer William Burr. “We will focus on the worst roads in the Township while also taking a hard look at the surrounding roads in the immediate area that may not be in as dire need, and are unlikely to be stand alone reconstruction projects in the near future.”
Deputy Township Administrator Wells Winegar then described the resident facing deliverables that the Township is working on which includes, as its centerpiece, a standalone website that will allow residents the ability to access the interactive map to see how their roads compare to others in the Township and will also become the primary hub of information regarding current and future road projects in Bridgewater. The target date for the release of this site is by the end of the 2020 calendar year.
Mayor Moench concluded the presentation by discussing with the Council a financing plan for the next 5 years. The Mayor asked the Council to consider committing to $8 million per year in road capital spending (approximately $2.5 million more., on average, per year in comparison to the previous 5 years). The Mayor indicated that the investment would convey the following results for the Township:
- The reconstruction of all roads rated 3.5 and above (Red and Orange)
- The reconstruction or resurfacing of approximately 30% of the roads rated 2.5 to 3.49 (Yellow) by taking the neighborhood approach
- Approximately $500,000 per year in preventive maintenance in order to protect the Township’s investment on more recently improved roads
- Approximately $1 million per year for the milling and resurfacing of roads through the County Co-Op
Both the Mayor and the Township Engineer indicated that following this 5 year investment, the Township’s worst and most expensive roads would be complete and the Township could then focus, more heavily, in preventative maintenance and milling and resurfacing projects that are far less costly and require less of an overall investment.
“The Administration now has a clear path forward to address the Township’s infrastructure.” Said Mayor Moench. “This plan is the result of almost a year of hard work and it brings us one step closer to the fruition of the promise I made when taking office back in January. Just like many of the roads in Bridgewater did not crumble over night, the problem will not be fixed over night but the residents of this community deserve a thorough and transparent plan that sets realistic yet aggressive goals. I believe that this will accomplish just that. There is still so much work to do, but last night’s presentation was a big step in the right direction.”