Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Road Taken

I am talking about road paving, not poetry. Until recently, talking about Plainfield's roads was not a pleasant topic. There is now good news on the horizon. Plainfield is now the proud owner of new road repair and maintenance equipment. Our road crews starting doing repairs with it this week.

If you want to check it out drive over to Oak Lane off Watchung Avenue - the lower portion. It was on my list as the worst road in the 2nd Ward and probably the whole city (with Central Street close behind). The new equipment does large patches with milling and paving machines. It is not the same as total road reconstruction but it will last a good amount of time, it is much cheaper and it will make life more livable for residents until we can work our way through the road reconstruction list.

Our new equipment will save us millions of dollars in the long run. We have not maintained our roads for decades. As they get worse, a less costly milling and paving will not suffice. A total reconstruction will be necessary. This costs twice as much. It is shameful that we have allowed some roads to reach this point.

Instead of allowing our roads to continue their deterioration, the new maintenance program will prevent the need for total reconstruction. Just go to a shopping mall parking lot and look at the asphalt cracks. They are regularly sealed. This will become part of our program too.

Thanks go to the following for this improvement in city services:

Al McWilliams, whose administration got the ball rolling

Sharon Robinson Briggs, whose administration followed through with the equipment purchasing

John Louise, Public Works Superintendent, who has been the driving force behind the road maintenance program start up

The DPW work crew, who now are the envy of the surrounding towns for the training and new equipment Plainfield has provided

The 2004 City Council who embraced and funded this program (including current council members Rayland Van Blake, Linda Carter and yours truly)

Its nice to highlight an initiative that I can truly be proud of, one that will be nicer for our vehicle tires and suspensions, and will save Plainfielders lots of money for many years.

Cory Storch
2nd Ward City Councilman

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