Residents wonder whether the work on their street will ever be finished by contractor
It seems like it was many, many months ago that a ragtag group of men first visited my beloved Tree Street community, and that’s because it was, in fact, many, many months ago. The men, who go by the name ICUNJ, are the contractors ostensibly charged with the reconstruction of Spruce Street and Linden Lane, a task they dabble at off and on. The residents of the two streets in question have, I think, gotten to know ICUNJ pretty well over our nearly year-long acquaintance. How best to describe the relationship? Well, ICUNJ is kind of like that stray cat you ought not to have fed: showing up unexpectedly at odd hours, but then disappearing for weeks at a time, leading you to wonder if they are ever coming back. Not that you’d really miss them if they never returned, except that you’d kind of like to have your road finished.
Not to say that ICUNJ isn’t diverting on the rare occasions when they do show up. They have this amusing habit of leaving needed materials, like piles of gravel or stacks of concrete conduit, many hundreds of yards from where they are actually working, leading them to endlessly shuttle back and forth with a small Bobcat frontloader. They really enjoy taking spins in the Bobcat, with workers riding around in the bucket. They also like to idle dump trucks: “idling”, in fact, is the general state of both ICUNJ’s vehicles and workers.
We haven’t had time to develop a similar level of familiarity with their subcontractors. The company in charge of the sewer liner injection was notable mostly for showing up early, setting up promptly, and then waiting around expectantly for ICUNJ to arrive. They departed, tasks complete, months ago, without a word of farewell. Similarly, the fellows who did sidewalks and curbs seemed unwilling to develop a long term relationship with the neighborhood, instead working long hard hours every day as if they wished to finish up as soon as they could. They left us weeks ago, leaving only their excellent work behind for us to remember them by.
As I write, another beautiful September weekday is passing, with, of course, very little in terms of work being done on my street. There was an ICUNJ dump truck idling outside my house earlier the other morning, but then it appeared to have left — leaving me to wonder if it is ever coming back.
Hopefully this will include resurfacing Linden and Spruce after all of the work has severely damaged those streets.
More likely PSEG will swoop in to open up the streets again to upgrade the gas mains. Then it will be too cold for the asphalt to be replaced until Spring?
If only we could ban cars in town, none of this would be happening. Glad to see where our town’s time and energies are being used.
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