Failing bridge problem will be addressed

West Milford. With an old deteriorating bridge as the only available way to access their homes, residents of Stowaway Park need help.

03 Sep 2020 | 10:27

    As previous mayors and councils have done in similar situations, Mayor Michele Dale and the current council are taking action to help residents in a private lake community without burdening all taxpayers of the township with the bill.

    The residents in the 21 residential homes at Stowaway Park will pay the cost involved to build a new bridge on Stowaway Road with the local governing body’s non-financial help.

    That assistance includes giving necessary backing prior to the residents of Stowaway Park paying the bill.

    Privately owned and privately constructed bridge

    This week the council planned to authorize the award of a professional services contract to Genesis Engineering of Lafayette for the final construction plans and determination of cost to replace the bridge.

    The privately owned and privately constructed 1984 bridge is the sole access to the lake community located at the western end of Pinecliff Lake. The Stowaway Park Association has been unsuccessful in its attempts to replace the failing bridge through private financing.

    Discussions were held with the local governing body on how best to proceed to achieve the most cost effective bridge replacement. Stowaway Road is a non township road and it has been recommended that an incremental approach be taken for final construction plans and cost determination to be performed in order to provide the governing body and impacted property owners with a final cost determination for the bridge replacement.

    The first incremental phase provided for preliminary design and cost estimates was completed in May.

    $45,450 for engineering services

    The resolution authorized the mayor and Township Clerk William Senande to execute a contract with Genesis Engineering for professional engineering services for evaluation and construction cost determination for the bridge replacement in the amount not to exceed $45,450.

    The final engineering costs can be charged to the capital improvement fund and subsequently sent back to the capital improvement fund upon adoption of a bond ordinance when and if the project moves forward.

    The purpose of these costs for the final construction plans are to be performed in order to provide the governing body and impacted property owners with a comprehensive construction cost estimate for bridge replacement.