Stillwater Bridge to be Repaired
Thursday, August 9, 2012 • 10:48pm
STILLWATER, NJ – Township Engineer Michael Vreeland and consultant Rick Kreppel told the township committee Tuesday, Aug. 7, the total cost of repairing the Baldwin Gate Bridge will be about $90,000.
Kreppel said state inspectors found three stringers in a state of extreme deterioration during a 2009 inspection. Those beams were “sistered” to strengthen the bridge, but a more recent inspection flagged more beans. He said rather than sister two or three every couple of years, all of the beams should be partnered with new beams.
Vreeland said the cost of the new beams and the work would be between $70,000 and $80,000 and the design work would bring the price up to about $90,000. Some roadside erosion will also be repaired, Vreeland said.
Stillwater Fire Chief Dave VanGordon asked if a standpipe could be installed at the same time. Vreeland said the job could be bid as proposed and a standpipe could be added as a change order. The committee agreed. Vreeland explained the standpipe would be separate from the rest of the project, "all of the work will be above the waterline except for some grading."
Vreeland said as soon as the township attorney approves the bid specifications, the job can be put out to bid.
Committeeman Charles Gross asked if the bridge would still be one-lane. Vreeland said it has been a one-lane bridge for many years. He said it doesn’t meet current standards for a two-land bridge.
During the public portion of the meeting, Jeff and Melissa Erne of Main Street asked what could be done about a leaking oil tank on the property of the former Stillwater Inn.
Mayor George Scott said the township construction official and zoning officer along with the Sussex County health officer looked at the tank, which was in the basement of the demolished structure, and didn’t find any evidence of leaking.
The Ernes showed the committee photographs of the take which appeared to show a leak.
They live next door to the former inn and are worried a leak could contaminate their well which is only about 10 feet away as well as the nearby Paulinskill.
Jeff Erne said they had their drinking water tested but the results are not yet in.
Scott said he will show the photos to county health officials and have the matter investigated again.
Another matter brought up from the public was a controversy over an emergency call.
Gross, who chairs the recycling committee and helps at the recycling center every weekend, said Saturday July 28 was exceptionally busy. He said an emergency call came in and the employee who is a squad member answered it.
Although he wasn’t specific during his public comments, Gross said after the meeting the other two employees were unhappy with being left alone.
Gross said during his public comments when the employee returned from the call he told him to leave for the day. He denied this was punishment. He said he told the man to leave to “save him from a dispute” and said the two workers had a right to complain they were doing the work of three people.
During the second public portion of the meeting, Michael Davenport, the person who was the subject of the squad call and a member of the squad himself, said he was grateful he "didn’t have to wait for an out-of-town squad to cover. He said the EMT in question kept him calm and assisted him and he is concerned about his being relieved of his duties for the rest of the day."