Garden Diary - July 2023

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Road Closed
Tuesday, 4 July 2023

The letter from the township clerk is dated June 30, 2023 and is RE: Road Closure of Creek Road on Alexandria Township / Kingwood Township sides.

Mind you, the road is barely 3 miles long and there is a third township that is not mentioned. The third township and Kingwood Township never paved their sections. Alexandria Township, where the majority of homes are located, had done so before we ever moved here in the mid 1990s.

The letter's first paragraph mentions resident concerns, and that the township's department of public works placed "Jersey Barriers out at two of these locations where hillside washouts occur during inclement weather and cause road erosion down the cliffside embankment into the stream."

The road is indeed disintegrating. Where repairs had been made in the past

guard rails were installed in those sections, which are also washing out.

The road is narrow, with cliffs on one side, creek on the other. It is barely

possible for two cars to pass each other. Trucks . . . that's another story.

Both DPW and representatives of the two townships met on Creek Road on Tuesday, June 27th to discuss the current conditions and came to the conclusion that the best solution at this time is to close the road. Accordingly, on Thursday, June 29th there was a meeting of area emergency sevices (fire and EMS), state police, County 911, post office etc to advise of the road closures.

Jersey Barriers were placed. That portion of Creek Road is now closed indefinitely

to vehicular, pedestrian, and cyclist traffic. NOTE: looks O.K. for walkers and bicyclists

An application has been made to the State of New Jersey Department of Transportion for a grant, for road repairs. Phase One, this is, to address current road conditions . . . "as there are many area of Creek Road that need attention and the Township will be proactive in these areas for preventive maintenance."

Yes, yes, yes. It acknowledges in the letter that repairs in the area of the closure are estimated to be in the millions, will require New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection permits that will have extended approval time, will need some means of getting construction equipment down the banks / cliffs to rebuild / stabilize the entire cliffside . . .

The Nishisackiwick is a trout stream, in that it is stocked with hatchery trout each spring. Churning through the not-very-deep water with heavy construction equipment, shale bottom or not, is going to be messy. Building a wall of gabbions is hardly restoration of a natural area.

I did phone the town clerk and yes, they were aware of the August event when Our Lady of Czestochowa multi-day walking pilgrimage which heretofore has traversed Creek Road.

They advised the organizers of the closure. It's not only vehicular traffic you see. It's also pedestrians and bicyclists. Of course had repairs been made in a timelier fashion, like years ago, it might have been easier, cheaper, less complicated. But what do I know.

Why was not something done before the road deteriorated to this extent? I have my doubts that I'll live long enough to see anything positive in the way of repairs happen. A friend who lives across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania reminded me that "Typical government cluster-f. We've had a bridge out in Tinicum for over 10 years as the Twp and Penndot and environmentalists fight over how to fix it."

I hestitate to ask that you stay tuned for future developments.

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