Freeholders Bridge Funding Gap to Continue Rt. 518 Construction

Posted on September 14, 2016

Somerset County Freeholder Board Bridges Funding Gap with State of New Jersey over Route 518 Construction

County Route 518 Bridge to Re-open After Successful Summer Talks

 

SOMERVILLE – Somerset County Freeholder Director Patricia Walsh has announced that the Board of Chosen Freeholders, in collaboration with two local legislators, has come to an agreement with the New Jersey Department of Transportation to fund the completion of construction of the Route 518 bridge project in Franklin and Rocky Hill.

Once a formal memorandum of understanding is approved, the project will recommence, Freeholder Director Walsh said.

“You cannot put a price tag on the safety and security of Somerset County residents,” she said, “nor should they have to bear the fallout from the current impasse in Trenton surrounding the Transportation Trust Fund debate.

“I am happy to report on behalf of the Freeholder Board that, with the help of Senator Kip Bateman and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, we were able to successfully resolve the funding issues that would allow this critical project to move forward,” she said. “From a health, safety and convenience standpoint, this is a win for Somerset County residents.”

The Board of Chosen Freeholders will fund this project as a capital expenditure, with no added impact on county property taxpayers.

Among those applauding the agreement was Montgomery Mayor Patricia Graham, whose community was affected by the project delay. “The closure of the Route 518 bridge has placed an undue burden on our residents,” Mayor Graham said.  “I am happy to hear this issue is being resolved, allowing this project to move forward expeditiously.”

Somerset County Public Health and Safety Director William Stahl also commended the agreement. “The decision to fund the completion of this project demonstrates the Freeholders’ commitment to the safety and security of Somerset County residents and ensures this roadway will be safe for travelers,” he said.

Anthony Attanasio, executive director of the Utilities and Transportation Contracts Association, had this to say about the announcement:  “It is no secret that due to the funding issues surrounding the TTF, our members have been put out of work, and important projects like the Route 518 bridge have been put on the back burner. We applaud the Somerset County Freeholders and Director Walsh for their tenacity in finding a solution here. We are happy to get moving and get the project done, and done right.”

Source: Somerset County Office of Public Info