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Boulevard Upgrade Work Enters Final Stage

Decorative lights and a variety of trees are now being added as part of the final steps to revitalize a two-block section of the Boulevard between Jefferson and Hamilton avenues nears completion.

Installation of new decorative lights started going up along the Boulevard this week, part of the revitalization work that is being done in phases to the upgrade the borough's downtown shopping area.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the new black globe lights had been placed on the west side of the Boulevard between Jefferson and Hamilton avenues. Lights will still need to be put up on the east side in that two-block section.

Installation of lights and also the planting of new trees are some of the final steps in this current phase of the ongoing revitalization project. The project began in July with the construction of new sidewalks and brick pavers. New benches and trash receptacles will also be among the final steps.

A variety of trees were planted last week in this two-block section of the Boulevard. Original plans called for the planting of one type of tree – the kwanzan cherry  -  but after some input from business owners, the borough worked with its engineer to find different types of trees that would work for this area and add variety in the landscape, according to Borough Administrator Mike Kronyak.

Instead of just planting all kwanzan cherry trees, which are known to not grow very tall but have a wider canopy, the borough planted six of them along with eight honey locusts and five blackgum trees which will grow larger vertically, he explained.

The work to revitalize this two block section of the Boulevard – Jefferson to Franklin to Hamilton – represents phases three and four of this ongoing project. The first two phases – Washington to Kipp to Jefferson – were completed about two years ago. 

To date the borough has spent about $590,000 in grant funding from the state Department of Transportation towards these four phases and about $160,000 of its own funds towards engineering and additional costs. The borough has received grant funding in stages, applying for one phase, or one block at a time.

The borough has received state funding for five phases. The fifth grant will go towards future work to revitalize the next block up – Hamilton to Walter. Plans to apply for a sixth grant to fund work for Walter to Division is also in the works.

Related stories

Next Steps for Boulevard Work Defined

Boulevard Construction Work Nears Completion

Boulevard Shuts Down for Tree Removal

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abc September 20, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Why are the new lights so bright? They're so bright that they can only turn on one side of the street at a time, the other side is off? Do we really need so many lights in such a small distance? How much more energy is being used vs. the older lights? When exactly does the town expect to put the benches back? The article says it's part of the final phase, when is that exactly? People who use NJ Transit busses miss those benches and they should be put back now.
Allie September 20, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Abc you are always complaining about what is being done on the Boulevard. I personally think this was a good move, However you do pose a good question is there a higher energy cost from the newer lights?
abc September 20, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Allie, there are many people that miss the mature trees that made our Boulevard inviting. It certainly isn't the stores or buildings that are inviting, that's for sure. In this day and age, taxpayers could have benefited more by replacing/repairing the sidewalks and leaving the trees/lights as they were. The town loves to spend money recklessly. Those lights are really a joke, take a look at night, they're so bright that they only light up one side of the street, those poor people renting above the stores.
Allie September 20, 2012 at 06:23 PM
First of all abc alot of the trees were uprouting the sidewalks and I am not an expert but I would think the best and safest way to take care of that problem would be to remove the trees. I am a tax payer and agree the town could have peobably spent the money a little wiser but since I don't know the details I am not saying but if you feel so strongly why don't you express your concerns at a town meeting.
abc September 21, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Town meetings are useless, the town has an agenda that won't change. They will listen and pacify you with their agenda. Yes the trees were uprooting some of the sidewalks, but that can be repaired. Open up the sidewalk around the tree and then work around it, the sidewalks are wide enough that some consideration could have been given for the trees and their maturity. Once you cut down a mature tree, it's gone and the beauty that came with it. Those trees that were there are urban trees and could have remained with some proper planning and care. It's the ignorant people that run the town that just say chop 'em down. One can only imagine the cost of removing each of those large trees, it would have been cheaper and better to keep the trees and fix the sidewalks. Look at towns in Northern Bergen county and why they're nice, mature trees. We now have an urban jungle feel going on and the lights are so damn bright you have to wonder if the mayor knows someone in the lighting business?
Allie September 21, 2012 at 01:27 PM
I know talking about this with you abc is unproductive however if you are concerned that once the trees are cut down they are gone I suggest you go to ITunes and listen to the song "A Seed" by Paul Sykes" that talks all about what happens to a tree once cut. And by the way I made a point of looking at the lights last night and disagree with you I think the lighting isn't too bright in fact I think it is a good deterrent to crime.
abc September 21, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Maybe Patch should put up a poll to see how people feel about the lights? They really are way too bright, and that's with only one side of the street on. You know something is wrong when the lights are bigger than the trees, lol. And yes Allie, once a mature tree is gone, it's gone. However, those twigs they put up will never get very big and never provide the allure that the previous trees did. Remember, one word, urban, oh wait is it ghetto?
Allie September 21, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Hold on abc I didn't say once a tree Is gone it is gone you said that I directed you to listen to a song that will tell you exactly what happens to trees, maybe you are reading this in the dark and missed that part.
Ryan N. September 24, 2012 at 04:06 AM
I was down there tonight for the first time. The sidewalks are nice, but it looks terrible otherwise. It is embarrassing to see those big trees missing -- what a horrible thing to have done.

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