BRIDGETON -- Cumberland County will spend an additional $800,000 to repair roads, bridges and other public property damaged by the Aug. 14 storm and Hurricane Irene.
The money allocated on Tuesday by the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders is in addition to the $7.1 million board members also plan to spend on storm repairs.
The county suffered about $20 million in damage during the Aug. 14 storm. County officials said they're still totaling up the damage estimate from the hurricane.
The $800,000 comes from a capital improvement fund, and includes about $500,000 that was to be spent on the controversial construction of a chapel at the Cumberland County Veterans' Cemetery in Hopewell Township. The $800,000 was never officially allocated for any projects, as the freeholders took final action on the necessary ordinance a day earlier than the 20 days required by state law. The mistake occurred because of what county officials called a clerical error.
The other $7.1 million is a mix of money the county had planned to spend on road surveys, energy-efficiency upgrades at county buildings, drainage work and other projects. The money will be allocated through an ordinance on which the freeholders will hold a second reading and public hearing on Oct. 18.
Also on Tuesday, the freeholders approved a series of contracts related to fixing damage caused by the Aug. 14 storm and Hurricane Irene.
One contract with South State Inc. or Bridgeton allocates $197,000 for repairs to a section of West Park Drive between Bridgeton and Upper Deerfield Township. Floodwaters from Sunset Lake washed over and under that section of West Park Drive during the Aug. 14 storm, carrying away a large section of the eastbound lane.
County officials said on Tuesday that stretch of road was to open on Wednesday after initial repair costs totaling $250,000. More repairs are still needed at the site, they said.
Some of the other contracts include spending $95,000 for security related to damaged roads, another $50,000 for warning signs and barricades.
Some county roads still remain closed.
A section of Weymouth Road between Parvins Mill Road in Salem County and Mill Road in Vineland remains impassable after being damaged by floodwaters from Willow Grove Lake following Hurricane Irene.
The rest of the roads are in Hopewell Township and include:
- Beebe Run Road between Shoemaker and Silver Lake Roads.
- Harmony Road between Columbia Highway and John Dare Road.
- Holding Road between Silver Lake Road and Columbia Highway.
- Finley Road between John Dare and Seely roads.
The county is continually updating its website, www.co.cumberland.nj.us, regarding road closings.