Office of the Governor
McGreevey Breaks ground on long-awaited
Route 15 intersection improvementproject.
Announces allocation of money for dam repairs
(Sussex County) - Demonstrating his commitment to improving the quality of life in Sussex County, Governor James E. McGreevey today announced that his administration will provide state money for needed dam repairs. The Governor also broke ground on the Route 15 infrastructure improvement project.
While touring the Franklin Pond Dam in Franklin, the Governor and Senator Robert Littell announced the allocation of upwards of $5 million in the state's '03 fiscal budget for dam repairs throughout New Jersey.
"It is estimated that 95 percent of New Jersey's dams are in need of repairs and restoration," said McGreevey. "The Franklin Pond Dam, which was originally built in the 1850s, is not only a source of water, but is also a historic site. I am proud that the State can provide Sussex County with financial assistance as it seeks to improve its dams and preserve this natural resource."
"It is significant that the McGreevey Administration has recognized the public safety need to assist in the completion of the dam and dredging work for the Borough of Franklin," said Littell. "There are many other projects that need the attention of the administration and I will continue to work with them to point these areas out."
In addressing the need for dam repairs, the Governor stated that by ensuring the integrity of New Jersey's dams, counties such as Sussex will be able to avert potential threats to public health and drinking water, as well as avoid economic destruction in the future.
In August 2000, Sussex County was severely hit with torrential rains that resulted in a countywide emergency and irreparable damage to dams. Many of the area's rivers and lakes rose to levels far above normal. Consequently, the Franklin Pond Dam is considered a Significant Hazard Dam.
In Sparta, McGreevey and Senator Littell, Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox and state and local officials, formally broke ground for the Route 15 and Houses Corner Road intersection improvement project.
"Sussex County and its residents have waited far too long for this project," said McGreevey. "When completed, motorists will enjoy a safer and smoother trip through this intersection. I would like to thank Senator Littell and the rest of the 24th Legislative District delegation for their unwavering support of this project."
"The Route 15 construction project at Houses Corner Road is a very important highway improvement that will enhance the flow of traffic through that area and also improve the safety conditions for many daily users of that road," said Littell. "I am pleased that the McGreevey Administration has recognized the value of this project by moving the project forward."
Commissioner Fox said construction on the improvement project was delayed for three years resulting from lengthy litigation challenging the NJDOT's right to condemn property for acquisition.
The NJDOT plans to complete the $9.3 million project by November 2003. The improvements involve realigning and widening a three-quarter mile section of Route 15 and a six-tenths of a mile section of Houses Corner Road. The new intersection will be signalized and left turn lanes will be provided on all four approaches to the intersection. A new bridge structure will be constructed over the existing railroad and the current at-grade crossing will be eliminated. Houses Corner Loop Road will be resurfaced and Layton Lane will be realigned to intersect perpendicular with Route 15.
At least one lane in each direction will remain open on Route 15 during construction. Work along Houses Corner Road will require intermittent closures and detours will be posted.
The Governor also announced a series of economic development initiatives that will result in stronger schools, safer and better roads and bridges, and a better quality of life for Sussex County residents:
State Supported School Construction:
Improving our schools in order to provide a quality education is the priority of the McGreevey Administration, and the state is helping communities throughout Sussex County build, renovate, and expand their schools.
More than $23,673,089 million in state school construction aid to districts throughout Sussex County has been approved, or is in line for approval. This funding will support $53,715,249 in school construction, renovations, and expansions.
The state will spend an estimated $8.07 million during the next year on Sussex County road projects.
This investment by the state will encompass 6 different projects throughout the county (see attached list). The projects include roadway improvements, congestion relief, a bridge repair, and safety improvements.