In a last-minute addendum to the city council meeting agenda on Feb. 19, the administration requested that the council pass a motion to adopt and then pass a resolution allowing Mayor Mark Smith and City Clerk Robert Sloan to authorize an agreement with T & M Associates of Clifton for professional engineering services for design and inspection. The $34,500 will be funded through money from the 2014 Community Development Block Grant and New Jersey Department of Transportation Roadway Restoration Streets program. The funding for the actual cost of the paving will also come from those two sources.
T & M was the low bidder of four prequalified engineering firms which provided the city with proposals, according to Business Administrator Stephen Gallo. The measure passed 5-0.
“Because of the harsh winter, we wanted to get ahead,” said Gallo after the meeting.
The resurfacing will take place in five areas of the city that the two grants specify. They are: Broadway from Dodge to Evergreen streets; Cottage Street from Broadway to Hobart; East 22nd Street from Broadway to Avenue E; Avenue B from 36th to 42nd streets; and Newark Bay Court.
“We generally do paving in the summer, in August,” Gallo said. “This year, the mayor wants it done earlier, because of the potholes. Hopefully, we’ll get it done in the spring.”
Even though the city is ready and willing to do the resurfacing as soon as the streets are totally clear, there still may be a delay that’s out of the city’s hands, according to Gallo: The hot asphalt is available only at a certain point in the year, and there are only a handful of companies that create the product. The asphalt also must be produced, transported, and applied at very specific temperatures.
Snow removal and salting
The mayor has received high marks from many for the city’s response to the constant snowfalls this winter. During and after each storm, city Department of Public Works trucks were seen salting and plowing the roads. Snow seemed to be plowed in a timely fashion after each storm.
At the council meeting, President Terrence Ruane praised the work of Department of Public Works Director Gary Chmielewski and his crew on snow cleanup and removal.
“There was a crisis throughout the state, and that wasn’t the case here,” Ruane said.
The weekend of Feb. 14 to 17, the city and contractors performed an end-to-end snow removal on most of Bayonne’s main thoroughfares.
Pothole locating and filling
On Feb. 19, Mayor Mark Smith launched his program to identify and fill potholes on city streets.
“Harsh winter conditions, snow removal operations, and de-icing chemicals have taken their toll on heavily traveled thoroughfares, and the freeze-thaw cycle has opened cracks in pavement around town,” the mayor said.
Smith instructed the DPW and parks department to muster crews to repair the damaged roadways.
“With over a dozen major winter storm events from October until now, our streets have taken a beating,” the mayor said. “We will be focusing on pothole repair for the next few weeks in advance of our annual paving program.”
A special hotline, (201) 858-6705, was established for residents to report potholes. When calling after hours, residents are instructed to leave a voicemail. Pothole locations can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.