The NJ Department of Transportation has advised the Borough that on or about Wednesday, October 31st, the state will begin likely three consecutive nights of repaving on Grand Avenue in Leonia.
NJ DOT night repaving will represent a significant disruption for all of those living along the Grand Avenue corridor as the noise and heavy equipment being used will make normal sleep difficult if not impossible. The Borough has attempted to have this rescheduled to daytime hours, which the NJ DOT was unable to do this year, though several compromises have been made to help minimize the issues.
Although the NJ DOT will be communicating directly with you through sign trailers placed on Grand Ave (they declined sending individual notices to residents), we will also do our best to keep you up to date. Read on to find more information, and see who you can send feedback to at the state if overnight road work presents a disruption for you or your family.
Some background: Grand Avenue is a State Highway (93) and therefore under the jurisdiction of the NJ DOT, rather than a local Leonia road. While state highways are typically repaved at night to minimize traffic disruption most state highways do not run through a residential neighborhood like Grand Avenue in Leonia does.
The Mayor and Council engaged the state authorities to see if Leonia might avoid some sleepless nights by switching the repaving plans to the daytime instead. This switch was also supported by our Police Department concerned about increasing risk to officer safety managing traffic at night.
After several discussions with NJDOT and the contractor’s representatives, we were informed moving to daytime roadwork wasn’t possible. Please see this letter from the state’s contractor detailing reasons for this decision. Because this project also involves communities both to our north and south who do not have the same residential neighborhood concerns we do, Leonia has limited influence. If this were a Leonia specific job we have no doubt we could successfully change the approach (and have done so before).
As frustrating as this is, it could be worse. Fortunately, the Mayor and Council were able to reach the following compromises and accommodations with NJDOT: 1) Agreement to complete all jackhammering pre-work during the day, 2) Agreement to commence night time repaving around 7:00 pm instead of starting as originally planned at 10:00 pm. (The hope being we will be able to either complete the work faster or finish at 3:00 am instead of 6:00 am each night) and 3) Commitment to include day time work in the bid specifications for any future Leonia Grand Avenue repaving efforts.