NJ Turnpike Construction Project Causes Controversy In Burlington County
MANSFIELD Twp., N.J. (CBS) – Local residents say a steady stream of heavy trucks has ripped up their road and they want to make sure that their cash strapped town does not end up footing the bill.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is widening 35 miles of the roadway between exit’s six and nine. They are making improvements. In the process, the mayor of Mansfield says that Mill Lane is one of three roads damage because of construction vehicles.
Dump trucks bearing 18 to 20 tons each, head into the New Jersey Turnpike construction zone from the Mansfield Township from the western end of Mill Lane. One after another, they back in unload and then come back with more, to raise the ground level where the toll road will be widened.
“This is a country road. People are not expecting trucks,” said Mayor Arthur Puglia.
Puglia says that the eastern end of this country road with horses, homes and 10-ton weight limit is now crumbling thanks to trucks in the last ten days using that portion of the road.
Home video shows that last Monday and Tuesday, one neighbor said in one day trucks made over 100 passes.
“It rattled so bad in the morning that I had pictures coming off of the hallway,” said Kelly Buckalew.
“The noise, the nuisance of hearing them going by, I couldn’t let me dog out on her leash,” said Francine Cutler.
Upset residents signed a petition that prompted the trucks to use the western end of Mill Lane but the damage, which also includes ruts in the middle of shoulders, has become a safety issue.
“My son went for a bike ride, hit the divot and went flying off just the other day,” said Buckalew.
The mayor says it is an economic issue too.
“We are looking at $300,000 on this road alone that has to be redone,” said Mayor Puglia. “It’s got to be milled and new base put back on.”
He also wants assurances that the turnpike authority will pay for it since, he says Mansfield can’t afford it.
“Last year we laid a quarter of our police force off, we went from two trash pick ups a week to once.”
Eyewitness News has been able to confirm with Mansfield’s mayor and the New Jersey turnpike authority that engineers from Mansfield and the New Jersey turnpike will survey some of the roads that Mansfield says are damaged on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the New Jersey turnpike authority says that if their roads were damaged by the construction project, they will be repaired.
Reported by Robin Rieger, CBS 3