Thursday, March 12, 2015


Yes it is true that the next three days will be devoted in part to March Madness as will the four days next weekend. One of the pluses for Dawg and I is that the TV is an excellent soporific and our sleep tome before midnight and after noon goes way up; why can’t they program these games at deepest night?

The other thing that is important in March is that except for perhaps the frequent Easter snow, the real cold weather is past us. The repair of this winter’s potholes should be started right now, any day that is above 50 should not be wasted.

This raises a question whether Public Works has contracted for that fancy dancy pothole repair service? Or is even prepared to use the hot patch equipment we have?

Of course if municipalities and the county and state would use preventive measures by filling linear cracks in the road during the warm months most of the potholes would be prevented and the overall ultimate cost to the taxpayer would be less. That will not happen when it is easier to apply for grant monies for scheduled repavements. We think we are getting away without increasing the taxes, but if it is not local tax funds then it is derived from state taxes.

What has happened with the requirement for laser sealed top grade repaired street openings. Watchung Ave still has the noncompliance patches from a few weeks after the street was repaved. Additionally there seems to be on the up slope from Leland to the top of the hill some cross street problems.

After the 2012-13 surge in repaving roads, it seems that very little was accomplished in 2014. Is there any cohesive plan for 2015 and the subsequent years?

If it appears that the Public Works force is too small to identify the location of potholes especially incipient ones it behooves the public to report all they can find. Since the police do patrol most of the city streets why can they not also report those they see?


  1. Crescent Avenue, which was repaved a few years ago now has craters right down to the substrate mostly in the east bound lane.. the substrate is coming completely out of them.. no cold patch or any type of repair has been done to them.. it's been like that for weeks.. with that much substrate coming up that road is now officially on the "repave" not repair list... shame.. sometimes this city acts as if it's the size of NJ.

  2. The general poor condition of Plainfield street paving is just one more issue that negatively affects our community. It is so nice to see a freshly paved street. Yet very soon linear cracks begin to appear between the runs of paving. I don't know if those are a normal consequence of paving or a sign of a substandard paving job. Either way, if those linear cracks were sealed as soon as they appear, it would probably minimize the need for more expensive repairs and repaving later on. There are very good reasons to budget for and perform on time maintenance. It's usually cheaper in the long run. There is something to the old adage, "A stitch in time saves nine."

    Tom Kaercher

  3. Though not related to this post, Doc, I thought you and your readers will be interested in knowing that the saga of Central Jersey Arts Charter School has finally come to an end -- it's charter will not be renewed and it will be closing the end of this school year.

    This has been a long time coming -- and a needed action.

    1. Anon, That is interesting,perhaps you can send more info about that charter school and the "saga". I may use it as a basis of a blog although I have not paid too much attention to the BOE who have hidden transparency in a cloud of dense fog.

    2. Re: CJACS -- the story is involved but the gist is that it took too long for Trenton to close this school, while other charters have been closed for far less problems. I will send more info soon.

      Please note that the Plainfield BoE has nothing to do with the charter school's Board of Trustees, or in running the charter. Both are separate entities, and each is considered a "district" (as is every charter school).

      There are more charter schools slated to open in Plainfield in the next school year. However, there is not much discussion about them within Plainfield. Who are the founders? What are their missions? Where will the be housed? What grade levels, etc.

      Starting an open discussion on CJACS and charter schools in general would lead to some eye-opening questions and answers for all Plainfield residents.

      I would welcome that dialogue to be opened and information disseminated so that education can get back on track.

  4. If a pavement 3 years old is unraveling it speaks to faulty workmanship or substandard materials. Look at the Route 78 repaving projects in contrast. Those pavements are subjected to traffic volumes and weights far in excess of Plainfield's streets. The Rte 78 pavement remains competent for years. The highway pavements are also laid in bands with continuous longitudinal joints that remain bonded. In observing the paving operations in progress on our local streets I have never seen an inspector present. If the inspector exits he is obscure. The dressing and compaction of the subgrade is as important, if not more important, than the paving operation. The recurrence of pothole s in a recently repaved surface attests to inadequate subgrade preparation barring some improbable subsurface anomaly. Every aspect of the work in progress must be carefully supervised. It is recommended that prior to bidding and awarding future paving contracts that the provisions for competent full time inspection, either by the design engineer, or a engineering service experienced in the Trade, be assured. The cost of competent inspection is a fraction of the cost of repeating the work. . Bill Kruse PE

    1. If I remerber right in 2012/13 every street that w2as approved for resurfacing also had an attached resolution for Plainfield's engineering contractor to prepare plans and supervise the work. There should be attestation b y them on the record.

    2. It would be iintersting to know. If the Engineer attested to satisfactory completion, which is customarily required for progress payments, and for the release of the retainage, then they may have a liability if the street is decomposing. BK