Bridge Street improvements to begin

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday to kick off the $2 million project.

   STOCKTON — Members of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission joined Stockton Borough officials Monday to break ground on the borough’s Bridge Street area improvement project.
   The project is the first to break ground under the commission’s Compact Authorized Investment program, which provides funding for transportation infrastructure related projects in New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities that host commission bridges.
   "The commission recognizes the impact its bridges have on local communities and is committed through the Compact Authorized Investment program to relieving some of the burden," said Philip Mugavero, chairman of the commission. "This project that we are breaking ground on today reflects that commitment and will ultimately make life better for Stockton residents as well as visitors and commuters by improving traffic flow throughout the Bridge Street area."
   The commission awarded the borough a $2 million grant to support the project, which includes installation of new storm drain inlets and piping; installation of a new potable water main; reconstruction of the roadway; and installation of new curbs, sidewalks and driveway aprons.
   "The transportation infrastructure in our host communities can have a substantial impact on traffic that crosses commission bridges," said Robin Weisman, vice chairwoman of the commission. "As the commission prepares to invest more than $9 million to rehabilitate the Centre Bridge-Stockton toll-supported bridge, it only makes sense that we help improve the surrounding area, too."
   An estimated $200,400 of the $2 million grant will be used to support the first phase of the project, which includes roadway, drainage and potable water improvements on Mill Street. The remainder of the grant will be used for the reconstruction of Bridge Street from Route 29 to the canal bridge to provide smoother traffic flow and additional parking in the area.
   The first phase of the project also is supported by a $150,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation and a $500,000 loan from the New Jersey Environmental Trust.
   Construction on the first phase of the project is expected to begin Oct. 1 and be completed by Dec 1.
   To date, the commission has awarded more than $30 million under its two-year, $40 million Compact Authorized Investment program, which kicked off in 2005.