ROAD CONSTRUCTION F.A.Q.s
Q. How big is Marlboro Township?
A. The Township of Marlboro consists of 32.5 square miles and over 200 miles of local roadways. We also have approximately 100 miles that are maintained by Monmouth County and the State of New Jersey such as Route 520, Route 79, Tennent Road, Route 9 and Route 18.
Township (local) roadways include ‘primary’ or ‘collector’ roads defined as streets that collect traffic from local roads and feed major highways. Our other local roads are noted as ‘low volume secondary’ roads which typically receive less traffic and primarily serve local traffic.
The roads within the Township and their designation are detailed on a map HERE.
Q. How much does Marlboro spend on road improvements each year?
A. Marlboro maintains a 6-year capital program and updates it annually. The bulk of the projects in the plan are targeted for improvements to infrastructure; the most significant of which is road improvements. Marlboro allocates between $1.5 and $3.0 million of our annual budget towards road improvements each year. Our annual budget is approximately $37 million dollars. We also actively apply for state and county grants (more below). For the 2018 capitol program, Mayor Hornik has asked Council to approve a $5 million dollar budget for road construction; 87.5% more than 2017.
Q. How does Marlboro determine which roads to repave?
A. Throughout the year, the Department of Public Works and Engineering collect data used to develop a list of roadways to be considered for inclusion in the capital program. Through a detailed analysis of the roadways, a road program is designed in order to improve and maximize the life of as many roads as possible within the budget allocated. Bid priorities for the annual road program are as follows:
- Along range planning report prepared for the Township in the mid-2000s is reviewed to reference the Overall Condition Index (OCI) rating of each roadway. This rating is calculated by a computer program based on various inputs established through a physical inspection of each roadway.
- Department of Public Works (DPW) maintenance record data layered over the long range planning report OCI ratings so that those roads which require the most in-house maintenance resources are weighted accordingly.
- Customer pothole and road maintenance report records are then factored so that those locations receiving the most requests for service are weighted accordingly. Customer maintenance requests typically trigger DPW work orders for service (see #3 above and ‘I think my road needs repair’ below).
- Engineering conducts core sampling on selected roads prioritized following 1-3 above in order to determine the thickness of the existing asphalt and underlying subbase conditions. These pavement cores are utilized to determine whether a roadway needs to receive a mill and overlay (in areas of adequate base course thickness) or a full depth reconstruction (a more intensive project).
- Engineering performs site visits to the roads prioritized following 1-5 above in order to determine what if any ancillary work (curb, curb ramps, sidewalk, drainage, ADA compliance, etc.) is required for each roadway.
- Engineering calculates an estimate for the roads prioritized following 1-5 above and makes a recommendation based upon the available budget allocation.
- Engineering calculates an estimate for the roads prioritized following 1-6 above and makes a recommendation based upon the available budget allocation.
- Bid specifications and construction plans are prepared with the list of roads recommended in 7 above. The specifications typically include a main list of roads followed by alternate (optional) roads. They are advertised for public bid and awarded to the lowest responsible bidder (as required by law). The road program than consists of all the roads that can be accomplished within that year’s available budget. Roads that did not fall under the current funding are automatically prioritized to be included in the next capital program year.
Q. What roads has Marlboro completed from 2001-2007?
A. Since 2001, the Township has paved 128 complete roads totaling approximately 185,000 linear feet or 35 miles of roadway. Barring exceptional circumstances, the roadways paved in full between 2001 and 2017 are not eligible for repaving or reconstruction under the Pavement Management Program in 2018.
Repaved roadways are maintained through a pothole repair and crack sealing program. The cost of maintenance is a fraction of the cost of full depth roadway reconstruction. At the low end of the scale, routine roadway maintenance can cost less than $10 per linear foot and routine road milling and paving in the area of $95 per linear foot. At the other end, structural improvements and base rehabilitation can exceed $175 per linear foot.
Q. What is the timeline for capital improvements and road repairs?
A. The annual timetable for all capital improvements, including road repairs, begins with the submission of requests by Departments during the summer months, a detailed review by Council Committee and presentation to the Council in January. After authorization by the Council, engineering work is completed and public bids are received. Construction typically takes place between late spring through late fall.
Q. How much does it cost to pave a road?
A. Paving a Township road is approximately one-half million dollars per mile! When going to bid, the Township engineers compile a list of ‘Base Bid’ Roads, as well as ‘Add A, B and C’. How many roads are repaved over and above the ‘Base’ Roads list is dependent on the bids received.
The base list represents current year priorities estimated by the Engineer with a high degree of confidence to be accomplished within the available budget. Ultimately, the contract is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder for as many of the roads listed in the specifications (base list plus alternates) as can be accomplished within the available budget. Roads included as bid “alternates” for which funding is not available in the current year’s program budget are automatically prioritized for inclusion in the succeeding capital program year.
Q. What does paving a road entail?
A. The common understanding of road paving is the process of putting new asphalt on top of existing roadway surfaces in need of repair (similar to placing a second layer of shingles on an existing roof). However, an effective Pavement Management Program is one which utilizes a broad range of strategies to maintain and improve roadways.
- Basic maintenance such as pothole repair and crack sealing.
- Road resurfacing, in which the road is milled or scraped free of two inches of old roadway and debris prior to the application of new asphalt.
- In more extreme cases, a more extensive reconstruction of the roadway is required in which up to twelve inches of the surface is removed and multiple layers of aggregate sub base and asphalt are installed. Along with the roadway surface layers, other issues associated with roadway deterioration, such as curb, ADA-compliant ramps, sidewalk and drainage improvements are addressed as needed. This comprehensive approach, while naturally increasing the costs of the improvements, helps prolong the useful life of the roadway and ultimately represents the most effective use of resources.
Q. How do we protect our roads once they are resurfaced?
A. To protect and extend the life of our newly repaved roads the Township Council adopted Ordinance 2018-12 establishing a moratorium for roadway openings for a period of five (5) years following the resurfacing of a roadway. More on this topic HERE.
Q. Does Marlboro receive State or Federal funds to add to the Capital Budget?
A. Yes! The Township aggressively looks for potential State and Federal grants to offset and supplement the costs of road improvements. NJDOT Local Aid Grants uses a scoring system giving priority to roadways with higher Average Daily Traffic (ADT). We have used these grants for collector roads such as Texas, Vanderburg and Union Hill. Another example is Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program sponsored by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These Federal monies are targeted to areas with a majority of residents classified as low to moderate income. Greenbriar development off of Robertsville Road is the only area in Marlboro that qualifies for CDBG. The Township has also received several grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and regularly applies for funding for infrastructure improvements.
Q. Some of our intersections are really busy!
A. As Monmouth County’s population grew in the 1990’s, traffic in Marlboro increased as people drive through Marlboro to get to destinations further south. Most of our crowded intersections fall under the jurisdiction of either the State or County (see above). The highest DOT authority has jurisdiction over an intersection. For example, State Route 79 takes jurisdiction if it intersects either a county or local road. Our engineers are in contact with the appropriate jurisdiction to request intersection or roadway improvements. The Road Construction table details our progress in that area.
Q. How do I find out when my road will be paved?
A. When a road is scheduled to be paved, residents who live on that road are sent a letter alerting them to the upcoming reconstruction. The Road Repair section of the website will have a list of the Township roads that are to be completed. The list of roads is not confirmed until after the bid has been awarded at which time they will be posted on the Township Roads page, social media and sent via email.
Q. I think my road needs to be repaired. How do I let the Township know?
A. Township has a link to the ‘Pothole Portal’ on the web homepage and HERE. To streamline requests, the ‘Portal’ has been redesigned so information submitted by residents enters directly into our system, allowing for more efficient response. If you believe your road should be considered for more substantial repair or a full repaving, let the Township know your concern by emailing or calling the Road department at 732-972-8866.