A weekly update of stories previously reported

Five years ago: Atlantic County begins work on major intersection

The intersection of Mill and Fire roads in Egg Harbor Township is often prone to long backups, but a new project will attempt to ease some of that congestion.

Atlantic County took ownership of land at the location last month from Egg Harbor Township and plans to start construction on a reconfigured intersection in the summer, county Engineer Joe D’Abundo said.

The approximately $4.5 million project, financed mostly with state money, could be done by the end of the year, D’Abundo said. The project includes adding lanes to Mill and Fire roads to increase capacity and other road and bridge work at the intersection, he said.

The county started the planning process five years ago and had to apply to the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Pinelands Commission for permits, he said.

Twenty years ago: Work begins to clean Superfund site in Hamilton Township

Hidden between Cologne Avenue and the Black Horse Pike are about 1.5 miles of woods with hazardous waste buried more than 100 feet underground.

But 20 years after the site was discovered, the waste is nearly gone.

The waste was dumped by several contractors in the mid 1970s and left unattended for about 10 years. The waste made its way underground and into the aquifers about 125 feet below the surface. The materials are not considered a public hazard because residents do not use the local water, but the process to clean it up is complex and slow-moving.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency determined about a dozen companies were responsible for dumping the waste and issued a work order for a cleanup in 1993.

Mickey Faigen, a spokesman for de maximis inc. in Clinton, Hunterdon County — a firm that is heading the cleanup — said the work at the site next to William Davies Middle School was near completion until they found a last piece of contamination that flowed in the opposite direction away from the school.

The company cleans the water by digging wells, extracting the water and purifying it before sending it back underground. De maximis will now install another extraction well and clean the last piece, Faigen said.

Faigen said that where the contamination spreads is difficult to predict and that the company hopes to finish the project by the end of the year.

“We have to do more testing,” he said. “It’s an ongoing chase.”

EPA officials have said they do not know what kind of waste was dumped at the cite, but the contaminants commonly found in the water during the cleanup are erchloroethylene and trichloroethylene, which are commonly used for cleaning.

Three months ago: High school faculty works with students on dance moves

The dances at Lower Cape May Regional High School had become a problem. And the faculty and students are working on the solution.

Adults had complaints at previous dances about inappropriate moves by the students. The faculty teamed together and raised money to hire a professional dance instructor so the students could learn some alternatives.

David Pacevich, a science teacher and chairman of the committee that arranged the program, said they received money from the teachers union, the Lower Cape May Regional Education Association, and the New Jersey Education Association for more than $1,000, as well as some private donations.

“We’re trying to bring back a feeling of going to dances and having fun and everyone can be comfortable,” he said.

There are four sessions scheduled with instructor Tom Cupp, during which students learn traditional dances such as swing and salsa, and more modern ones, including line dancing and hip-hop.

Since the program began, Pacevich said he has been contacted by local agencies who have offered to help expand the number of sessions with additional funding and use of facilities.

Pacevich said the sessions are going well and the results will be seen at the prom in late spring.

“That will be the test (to see how it’s working),” he said.

The last session is open to the entire community and is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday in the high school auditorium, 687 Route 9 in Cape May.

Contact Joel Landau:

609-272-7215

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