Lincoln Place is getting some work done. That part is probably evident to most residents who have walked or driven in its vicinity over the past week. But the reason why now instead of later may not be as obvious.
PSE&G was committed already to doing work on the gas lines underneath the road in the future. However, the borough asked the company to accelerate their schedule to accommodate the potential of the future capital project on Lincoln Place. Borough Administrator Ray Codey said the company agreed, as the borough didn't want to reconstruct and mill and overlay the road and then have PSE&G come in and rip it up for their project later on.
The Madison Police Department issued an alert through Nixle a week ago saying the construction would last for approximately a month, and that access to the road and parking will be limited during that time. The alert also said work will mostly be done Monday-Friday from 8: a.m.-5 p.m.
The Lincoln Place capital improvement project was on the recommended list submitted to the Borough Council by Chief Financial Officer Robert Kalafut and Administrator Ray Codey last month. However, that was before the borough had its state aid reduced, and with over $1 million to cut to reach the allowable tax levy, it is still unclear exactly what will make the final budget.
Main Street Executive Director Jim Burnet said at the Downtown Development Commission's meeting last Thursday that his suggestion would be to pitch the lowest cost option for the project to council, and then look to incorporate additional design elements down the road if funds become available. He said this would give the council the opportunity to see the project at its lowest cost. That proposal is to improve safety and the general appearance of Lincoln Place.
Burnet also echoed a sentiment the council has been hoping for, which is that it may be possible for PSE&G to subsidize some of the cost of the mill and overlay since the company would have had to repair what it dug up, anyway.
As of now, the one thing that is certain is that if the capital project is approved, the gas line work will have already been completed due to the accelerated work schedule.