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$1.25M Intersection Overhaul Needed if UW Property Proposal Approved

Significant road widening would be required if the proposal to develop the United Water property is approved.

New Milford Redevelopment Associates, the applicant looking to develop the property, had mentioned the possibility of adding a left turn lane to River Road and adding more green-light time for drivers approaching the light on Madison Avenue.

Berge Tombalakian, the zoning board’s traffic consultant, felt that these mitigation efforts were insufficient and was asked to review the traffic issues that would be caused by the development of the United Water property at the intersection of River Road and Madison Avenue.

On Tuesday evening, Tombalakian returned to sit with the board and explain his findings.

“We looked at various combinations of timing changes, adding different lanes, changing the arrangement of the intersection to develop what improvements would be needed to offset the added traffic that would come to that intersection,” Tombalakian explained.

If the application of the developers current proposal were approved, Tombakalian had a list of improvements he deemed to be needed.

  • Roadway Plans - $40,000
  • Right of Way Documents - $30,000
  • Property Easements - $230,000
  • Utility Relocations - $120,000
  • Preliminary Construction Cost Estimate - $730,000
  • Construction Inspection - $90,000

“Rounding it all off it comes up to about $1.25 million. That is for the entire project,” said Tombalakian.

Construction would include the widening of Madison Avenue and River Road by about 10-12 feet for a length of "roughly 300 feet," to accommodate left turn lanes. One lane would be added to River Road as you approach Madison Avenue from New Milford High School and the other would be added to Madison Avenue as you approach from River Road from Boulevard. 

Property along the areas to be widened would need to be purchased if the improvements were made. The properties in this area consist of residents front yards. 

Questions were previously raised about the intersection of Madison Avenue and Main Street. Zoning board attorney Scott Sproviero asked if a similar price-tag might be needed for other intersections in the area. Tombalakin was hesitant to lump intersections together, but didn’t deny that possibility.

Sproviero explained that the percentage of the $1.25 million the applicant would be pay would need to be calculated. 

"When you look at the entirety of the improvement a calculus has to be employed as to determine what percentage of the improvement results from the applicant's development," said Sproviero. 

The percentage has not yet been calculated by the zoning board or the applicant. 

Is a $1.25 million price too high for what would be the widening of a single intersection? Would you like to see Tombalakian look into surrounding intersections? Tell us what you think in the comments section below. 

Rick January 16, 2014 at 06:36 AM
I would like to hear Berge Tambolakian say under oath exactly how many traffic counts he did at the high school. His response that "maybe" he did three leads me to believe that "maybe" he never did a traffic count in his life and is not a qualified expect. You can expect his $1.25M estimate is equally unqualified & that the cost will eventually be much higher. And if you add in the cost of additional modifications that he calls "improvements", it will bankrupt our town. The answer to your question is a resounding YES. Let them sue.
Ulises January 16, 2014 at 07:50 AM
New Milford tax payers will be stuck with 90% of the bill. Even if there's a grant out there it won't cover 100% of this bill (but remember what officials at borough say every time about the UW property - there's no grants). So, the road will widen on this intersection then it narrows again by the high school and widens again by the United Water Property, then narrows again by the Main Street & River Road intersection??? Yeah, that's not a flaw!!! In time, after the Inserra's supermarket is up an running, the road in front of the high school will require widening too, due to the bottle necking the current design flaw will cause and guess what, that's another future bill to the tax payers!!!! This development will never lower or stabilize taxes as some in Borough Hall promote, you know the "grown ups", or many in town have been lead to believe. Oh, and practically all the trees on River Road south between Madison Avenue and Main Street - gone! We're getting rapped people and mugged by Hekemian and Inserra. Wake up New Milford!!!!
Lori Barton January 16, 2014 at 08:17 AM
Hekemian is ruining New Milford. First, the application caused a huge divide in this town. Now, even MORE of the negatives are coming out and it's time for a UNITED New Milford to fight Hekemian. Why should we be responsible for ANY of the costs involved in improving intersections that would not need improving if there is no development? If New Milford taxpayers are going to be responsible for the vast majority of the costs to "improve" this intersection, then I'm sure the same formula will follow through with the costs to widen both River Rd and Main St. So, at $1 million each, that's $3 million for us, the New Milford taxpayers to pay. And there are still people who think this will save us money??? And why should we lose all of our Heritage trees? Why should we have to lose our last open space when Inserra ShopRite has already been granted all of the approvals to rebuild exactly where they are and where they belong? Please New Milford: Come to the zoning board meeting on Thurs, Jan 23 at 7 PM and tell them you don't want this!
Tommyice January 16, 2014 at 10:27 AM
No matter how many hot dogs Larry Inserra donates to the town for their field days and special events, HE IS NOT A FRIEND TO NEW MILFORD! Tell him how you feel by hitting him where it hurts--HIS WALLET! Feel you can't afford to shop at any of the other local supermarkets, such as Stop & Shop, A&P, Pathmark? Then go to a ShopRite that is not owned by Inserra. Go to Paramus, Englewood or Rochelle Park. All those stores are clean and well stocked and carry items I've not seen in an Inserra store. Think it's convenient to shop in town, well how convenient will it be when you are sitting through three lights on Main Street? Or driving through countless back streets to avoid the traffic. Be careful though, children still play in the streets like they did when you were one. If Inserra backs out, then Heikemian will leave us alone. He is the lynchpin here.
Donna Tomasini January 16, 2014 at 10:28 AM
What I would like to know from our Mayor and two Council members who voted to rezone and said this would not increase our taxes, please do tell how this development will not cost us taxpayers. This is just the beginning. A left turn lane on Madison Ave. to Charles St. and one on River Rd. to the high school. This will not help traffic. What a NIGHTMARE!!! This will negatively effect the area, me and my neighbors. I plan on knocking on my neighbors doors to inform them of this intersection overhaul and will ask them to come to the zoning board meeting on the 23rd.
asskickinglass January 16, 2014 at 11:32 AM
Can anyone tell me one positive thing for the town from all this? The negatives go on and on, and I believe they need to prove this is inherently good for the town. I can't think of anything, and even the coah obligation is ridiculous as that can be covered easily through brookchester. I would like to believe this doesn't have a chance of succeeding, but why are our supposed leaders taking so long to put a stop to this? Let them take us to court and be done with it. Bullying tactics don't work in New Milford, even though some of our weaker representatives fell for it. We must send a strong message that we live in a town and want it to remain that way, which is how it is zoned! Our children deserve our dedication to protecting the environment around our schools.
Michael J. Gadaleta January 16, 2014 at 04:58 PM
If only the Bd of Ed shared your concerns for student safety. Not one member of the Board, elected to represent the students and residents, has made a single appearance at more than 40 public meetings . I am at a loss to explain this . The environmental commission has one meeting left to exercise the oath they took as well. It How many trees does the applicant have to cut down to get the commissioner's attention. There was one member of the commission who did attend but declined to speak , she is now representing the Boro' s interests at the planning board , rewarded perhaps for her fine work on Environmental Comm. If it wasn't so serious it would be laughable .
Lori Barton January 16, 2014 at 05:35 PM
Michael, there has been 1 board trustee who has been to several meetings. Peggy Saslow shares these concerns and would have been to more meetings but this has been a tough year for her. But where has everyone else been? We were told in June that the BOE still had concerns and they wanted a seat at the table. But they have been completely silent, very disappointing.
Donna Tomasini January 16, 2014 at 07:11 PM
The BOA, Republicans, or any other group are not helping SOD, they would be helping the residents and children of New Milford.
asskickinglass January 16, 2014 at 07:31 PM
No misunderstanding here, these decisions are for the town's benefit. SOD is keeping us informed, but this affects everyone in town. What happens here will either turn us into a city, or keep us the borough we have all chosen to live in. Our elected and appointed officials have our future in their hands yet they seem more intent on blaming SOD than putting an end to this nightmare. Why is our mayor so silent, this is not out of her hands and I will hold her ultimately responsible.
Lori Barton January 16, 2014 at 07:31 PM
Thank you Donna! That was exactly what I was thinking. The BOE should be representing their constituents: the students of New Milford
Ulises January 16, 2014 at 07:51 PM
The BOE will not get involved now because Hekemian burned them with a "conceptual" deal. Hekemian knew all along the flood storage tank would not work at the elevation by the high school track field (the reason they pulled out of the deal). On January 31, 2013, months before the "conceptual" proposal, Hekemian's engineered, Mr. Dipple, testified on the elevation of the track field... Hekemian used the BOE to divide the town and try once again to change the zoning at the M&C for Inserra's Supermarket, the widening of roads and all the additional costs this development will burden the taxpayers. Thereby, Hekemian's ploy schooled the BoE and they'll sit the rest of this saga out. Knowing now all the cost to the tax payers - it's cheaper to fight them to the end and besides, we'll win.
Michael J. Gadaleta January 16, 2014 at 10:26 PM
Thanks Lori , I hope Peggy is well .
Michael J. Gadaleta January 18, 2014 at 09:27 AM
Tired of it, well said .Remember the saying that I will borrow from another ," some people have something to say others have the need to say something ".
Cranky Fake January 18, 2014 at 03:10 PM
@tired of it….there is an easy way to not hear from Cranky Fake, don’t post stupid sh*t on this site and don’t mention me in your posts, two things you have just done. So now anytime you post, plan to hear from me. Any one that has half a brain will realize that Jimmy is probably 30 years older than me and incapable of making the arguments and references that I do. I have been a constant detractor of our fearless and clueless “Annie” for two plus years and have posted here how her horrific leadership in not buying the UW property when we could, was a monumental mistake. I have apologized to Ulises and Lori, when I have crossed the line and have attacked Jimmy and Adam more times than anyone from SOD ever has. So now why don't you go back to taking care of your cats and feeding the birds?
Cranky Fake January 18, 2014 at 11:00 PM
@tired of it..."so now anytime you post, plan to hear from me" is the quote not a threat or vendetta so please do not be a drama queen about it. As far as anger, vendetta, hunting down those are all your words, none of which came from me. You want some answers, go back to my posts from when the Patch changed formats and you will see why this moniker, a spoof on Jimmy Drake (get it Cranky Fake rhymes with Jimmy Drake) was chosen and where the "Annie" came from (plenty of people in town call her Annie, thought I would be friendly while critiquing her record). In the 2 plus years since the UW application, I have attended a few Zoning Board Meetings and did attend Both candidate nights, what the refreshments were.. I have no idea and really do not care. I was at the original SOD march to Borough Hall and have consistently been opposed to this development. There is no anger in my posts. I am not Jimmy Drake, do not refer to me as an alter ego to Jimmy Drake, say what you need to say to him and what you need to say to me, we are not the same person.
Michael J. Gadaleta January 19, 2014 at 11:14 AM
Let's stay focused, SOD and other residents have poked so many holes the the expert's presentation that the developer has to sue the Boro. Why? It's simple, the aggressive plan will endanger student safety, clog our streets to the point that the tax payers will have to improve several intersections at more that a $ 1,000,000 each, lower property values for the entire north end, reduce our quality of life , increase our flooding,etc,etc. In short there is NO positive criteria for the residents . Except for having a clean supermarket, which has received approval to rebuild in its current location. It is no accident that the intersection improvements are coming out at the closing arguments , the residents have questioned the flawed traffic report since it was presented .Even our Boro traffic engineer didn't understand that the traffic report counted cars at the existing "filthy" ShopRite, as a basis for the new supermarket . Crazy. Let's not forget that the developers are also short 100 parking spaces as well. That means cars parked on surrounding streets and in the spaces reserved for students at the high school. The Bd of Ed should immediately take steps to close Cecchino Dr to all vehicles , creating a safe perimeter around the school . We as residents need to fill Boro hall to an overflowing crowd, everything we say at the this Thursday's meeting will be read by a judge!
Cranky Fake January 19, 2014 at 05:55 PM
@jyd...I have never directed anything at you and have agreed with you more than disagreed. As far as stalking, the back and forth between you and H has been epic. Tired of it seems to think I am h, who only post the same obscure passage over and over. After the election I said that I would no longer be part of the problem and have stuck to that. You and @tired of it can continue your little sausage fest I will respond accordingly. Say what you want about me, but my comments are always on point and I take none of this personally and actually get a kick out of annoying tools like you.
Cranky Fake January 19, 2014 at 08:05 PM
You are a tool and I am a troll...I can live with that

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