A third of the city’s primary roads have been resurfaced through mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ massive $37 million road reconstruction project, according to city engineer Frederick Margron.
57 of 170 primary road segments have been completed so far, according to Margron’s report presented to the city council on Tuesday evening. His report indicates another 37-percent of roads are under contract and in progress of being resurfaced. This leaves 30-percent of the roads that could face delays due to sewer and gas main repairs.
“We will probably be delayed in the overall completion of the program,” said Margron. The mayor expected to get all 170 primary roads finished by 2018. As he made the presentation to the full council, council members were concerned about protecting the city’s $37 million investment from utility companies.
Council president William McKoy said many of the streets are being cut through by PSE&G. Margron said the roads that were resurfaced in the past three years and are being trenched by the utility companies have to be resurfaced curb to curb.
“We’ve been stating curb to curb, but those utility companies that have come back to surface are doing half,” said Michael Jackson, 1st Ward councilman. He also told the engineer some of these companies are improperly filling the dugout with sand which is causing failures.
Alex Mendez, councilman at-large, who requested the presentation, said he witnessed utility companies cutting roads and not resurfacing the entire road curb to curb.
Margron said the city has been coordinating with PSE&G’s equally massive gas main repair project. He said the city is looking to force utility companies to handle curb to curb resurfacing in every instance in which the project involves a full city block. The council will have to approve an ordinance, he said. He said the administration will present an ordinance at some point in the future.
“The heart of Paterson is not being covered,” complained Luis Velez, 5th Ward councilman. “When can we, residents of the 5th Ward, see our roads completed?” He observed on a color coded map that highlighted the streets that have been completed marked in yellow to find there’s not much yellow road overlays in the 5th Ward.
Torres reassured Velez the 5th Ward will get its share of the roads resurfaced. “There’s a significant number of streets covered in the 5th Ward in the program. You haven’t been forgotten,” said Margron.