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Covering Hamilton and Robbinsville townships in-depth for The Trentonian. I can be reached at (609) 989-7800 ext. 207 or (609) 468-6962. Email me at or follow me @awisefool.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Residents live through construction nightmare on Exton Ave.

  • In September 2011, Hamilton Township signed on for a road construction project that was expected to take about a month to complete. A year later, streets are torn up, residents are increasingly aggravated and the cost of the project continues to climb.

  • Township records and emails obtained through public records requests by The Trentonian show 12 months of delays, disputes and mistakes that have left residents on Exton and Reeger avenues without a finished roadway and at times without access or their driveways, gas service or running water.
  • “For me, it has been a nightmare, living here,” said 32-year-old Victoria DeJesus, who moved to her house on Exton Avenue with her fiance a month before construction began.
  • Those records further show that the project, centered on replacing aging sewer lines for houses on the two roadways, has increasingly grown in scope, time and effort on behalf of the township and contractor.
  • The project has been delayed at almost every step, by issues including ruptured water lines, sinkholes, changing contract plans, deficient construction which needed repair, rain and scheduling conflicts.
  • Originally slated to take 40 days when the contract was signed last September, it has gone more than 100 days over. At $450 in penalties for each day past the contract, the township could recoup tens of thousands from the main contractor, Intercounty Paving.
  • But the project could still cost the township hundreds of thousands more than its original contract, even with the tens of thousands of dollars in potential penalties against the contractor. The first change order, of several according to the emails, increased the project’s cost by more than $100,000, to a total of $864,000.
  • Township Engineer Rich Williams, who has tried throughout the project to keep it running under control, said the work will enter its final stage this week: paving.
  • Hamilton Business Administrator John Ricci summed up his feelings on the subject.
  • “This is probably one of the worst construction projects we have had since I have been here,” he said.

  • Click here for the full story. Followups to come.

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