By Nicole Brodeur, Special to The InquirerPosted: January 09, 1986
The group at the river's edge told tall tales about the Bridgeboro Bridge while they waited to see it demolished.
One man spoke of the van that careened off the bridge, in Delanco, 15 years ago and was found beneath the waters of the Rancocas Creek the next morning. Inside, as the story goes, officials found the bodies of two men in the front seat and two women in the back, both naked and shackled to a wall of the van.
"That old bridge was a lot of trouble," said Delanco resident Bud Wallace, 74, as he leaned against the red bicycle he rode to the bridge in yesterday's biting cold.
Wallace said there were 12 deaths on the Route 130 bridge, which was replaced two months ago at a cost of $21 million by a sleek, new bridge that looms beside it. The new bridge was under construction for just over two years, and residents say it wasn't built soon enough.
"Too many lives were lost," Louis Anderson of Delran said as he sat in his car about 1,000 feet from the bridge, but still with a good view of the demolition site.
"It's an old landmark," Anderson said of the 58-year-old span, "but its (demolition) is going to benefit the people."
The demolition, however, did not go as smoothly as the first ride across the new bridge two months ago.
The second of three charges set under the bridge's cement counterweight - used to raise and lower the bridge - was supposed to break the counterweight apart. Instead, the weight shifted off its bearing, causing the northern end of the bridge to tip into the air and the southern end - planned for removal by a barge-riding crane - to splash into the water.
"The bridge didn't quite react the way it was supposed to," said Lou Conover, resident engineer for the state Department of Transportation. He said the third blast, which went off about 4:20 p.m., was used to knock the cement counterweight into the creek. Later, he said, the pieces would be removed from the water.
"I don't know if it was a miss. . . . The bridge just shifted," Conover said just before the third blast. "Maybe the charge was too big; you never know. You never know when you blast."
Merritt J. McAlinden, whose company oversaw the blasts, said he was uncertain of the consistency of the concrete used in the construction of the old bridge, which may have been one reason the first blast failed.
Conover said that the counterweight's shift might delay the demolition by one or two days but that the job should be completed in three weeks.
The blasts forced the closing of the new bridge for five-minute intervals, police said, to ensure that no one panicked at the sound or the shudder brought on by the explosion.
Letters To The Editor Bad SourceSource: https://web.archive.org/web/20150922070409/http://articles.philly.com/1986-01-29/news/26053767_1_van-rescue-accident
Posted: January 29, 1986
I compliment you on enhanced coverage of Burlington County in general and the Township of Delran specifically. The Jan. 9 story on the demolition of the Bridgeboro Bridge, however, did your readers an injustice by including a description, from an unidentified source, of the accident involving the van that ran off the bridge approach and into the Rancocas Creek. It was not accurate. This information could have been researched before the story was published.
The accident occurred in May 1977, when the van, traveling north on Route 130, left the roadway on the approach to the bridge, demolished a billboard and landed about 80 feet out in the Rancocas Creek, in about 20 feet of water. Of the four occupants, three died soon after impact. The fourth, a woman, was trapped in the rear of the van, unconscious, in an air pocket. The rear doors of the van had been chained shut by the owner for security purposes.
The trapped woman was rescued by four members of the Delran Fire Department and Emergency Squad, which had been dispatched upon report of the accident. She recovered from her injuries and neither she nor the other woman was ''naked" or "chained," as the article related the unidentified source's story. The rescue efforts were recognized by the New Jersey State First Aid Council and the New Jersey College of Surgeons as the outstanding rescue in the state during 1977.
Daniel J. Paolini 2d
25 Communities Seek Funds Under County Block GrantSource: https://web.archive.org/web/20151222082202/http://articles.philly.com/1987-01-07/news/26190260_1_countywide-projects-municipalities-drainage
By Charlie Frush, Inquirer Staff WriterPosted: January 07, 1987
Twenty-five of Burlington County's 40 municipalities hope to receive funds for municipal projects under the county's projected $1.9 million 1987 Community Development Block Grant program.
And the county plans to spend a chunk of its 50 percent share of the grant to promote new housing in a 26th community.
The second and final public hearing on the program is scheduled before the county freeholders at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Burlington County Administration Building's board room.
Katherine J. Carella, coordinator of the program, said that the county allocated half of the federal grant to the municipalities and the other half to countywide projects. Under the latter, Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development (MEND) would receive $100,000 to develop low- and moderate-cost housing units on North Church Street, she said.
"We're hoping to receive the same allocation as last year," Carella said. Last year, the county received $1.9 million.
Because of presidential deferral, however, the funds weren't received by the county until August, although they had been expected in March. Carella said the funds could be similarly delayed this year.
Carella said that 37 of the 40 communities in the county have participated in the program, although not all of them every year. Funds are distributed mostly for capital improvements or housing projects that benefit low- and moderate-income areas. Most grants are used by the municipalities for streets, curbs and storm drains, Carella said, and because the allocations generally are $50,000 or less, it often takes several years for a community to complete a project.
The municipalities seeking the most funds in 1987 include:
* Bordentown City, $50,000 for continuation of the Farnsworth Avenue business district improvements and sidewalk reconstruction.
* Burlington Township, $48,225 for continuation of Sunset Road sewer system improvements and replacement of the Sunset Road pumping station.
* Beverly City, $47,500 for replacement of curbs and sidewalks on Laurel Street.
* Fieldsboro, $40,000 for upgrading of water lines along Fourth Street.
* Palmyra, $40,000 for continuation of the Orchard Avenue drainage project.
* Pemberton Township, $50,000 for water mains along Pemberton-Browns Mills Road.
* Riverside/Delran, $60,000 for jointly administered Hooker Street drainage-basin project and road overlay on Greenwood and Oak Avenues.
From the county's half of the grant, the largest expenditures would be for:
* The Occupational Training Center, $310,243 to employ handicapped residents in the resource-recovery recycling program.
* Economic development, $150,000 for activities to expand economic opportunities to retain and create jobs for lower-income people.
* Senior citizen transportation program, $150,000 for operating costs for countywide transportation.
* Administration costs, $200,000 for administration of the block grant program.
The block grant funds are distributed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, to which the county will submit its 1987 application on Jan. 26.
Delran Council Backs Soil-program TransferSource: http://articles.philly.com/1987-02-04/news/26180208_1_conservation-district-soil-program-ordinance
By Virginia Bohn, Special to The InquirerPosted: February 04, 1987
The Delran Township Council has adopted, on the first reading, an ordinance that would shift responsibility for the review of soil-erosion and sediment- control programs from the township to the Burlington County Soil Conservation District.
If the ordinance receives final approval, it would make Delran the last municipality in the county to delegate the responsibilities to the conservation district, which is run by the state.
The ordinance was approved unanimously by the council at its regular meeting last Wednesday. A public hearing and a final vote on the ordinance are scheduled for Feb. 25.
Donald Yarus, district manager of the conservation district, said that under the terms of a state law enacted in 1975, local municipalities were left with the choice of running their own soil-control programs or leaving the job to the state.
Under the terms of Delran's ordinance, the district office would review plans to control soil erosion and sediment at new industrial, commercial and residential developments that cover more than 5,000 square feet of land. In the past, the task had fallen to the township engineer, Alaimo Associates of Mount Holly.
Council Vice President Andrew Ritzie said the change would save the township time and money, although he did not know how much.
Through county taxes, residents already pay for the services offered by the conservation district, he said, and having the service performed locally only duplicates the cost.
In reviewing a developer's erosion-control plans, the conservation district must make sure that the plans comply with state standards. The developer is responsibile for providing water disposal and protecting the soil surface during and after construction of new developments.
Going The Extra Mile For N.j. RoadsSource: https://web.archive.org/web/20150920223934/http://articles.philly.com/1987-02-18/news/26181009_1_total-state-contribution-trust-fund-authority-largest-public-works-program
By Eddie Olsen, Inquirer Staff WriterPosted: February 18, 1987
The $3.2 billion Transportation Trust Fund, the largest public works program in the history of New Jersey, is running out of money more than a year ahead of schedule.
Hazel F. Gluck, commissioner of the Department of Transportation, has proposed renewing the program through 1991 and creating a new package worth $3.9 billion that would include $311 million in projects for Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties.
Renewal of the program needs approval by the legislature. On Feb. 26, the Transportation Department will present a joint Senate-General Assembly committee with a status report on the program and a detailed proposal for extending it until 1991.
The trust fund was the centerpiece of Gov. Kean's budget for 1984-85, when he said he would eliminate the backlog of transportation projects throughout the state. Those projects included the creation of Route 90 in Camden County, the completion of the Route 55 Freeway in Gloucester County and the construction of the new Rancocas Creek bridge on Route 130 in Burlington County. These projects and others are either under way or completed, but a backlog persists, according to Gluck.
By June 30, $2.7 billion of the $3.2 billion fund is expected to be spent. The program was scheduled through June 30, 1988.
"At the same time the funding is running out," Gluck said, "demands for transportation improvements are increasing."
In attempting to explain why state officials are running out of money a year earlier than planned, Gluck said, "Remember, this was a new concept to the department as well as (to) the governor, legislature and the public." Inflation was a contributing factor, she added. For example, there were construction expenses that increased between 5 and 15 percent, increases that were not planned for.
The program was designed to operate on $230 million a year in state funds from 1985 through 1988. But within a year of the program's inception, the Department of Transportation was forced to seek an additional $325.5 million for fiscal 1986 and $431 million for fiscal 1987, because of "accelerated construction schedules and increased project costs," Gluck said.
Despite the extra appropriations, the program still has come up short, Gluck said. In seeking to renew the program, the department proposes to provide $320 million a year in state funds through 1991. Combined with the Trust Fund Authority's issuance of more than $200 million in bonds, the total state contribution would be $525 million annually. Expected annual federal funding of $455 million would provide New Jersey with a total of $3.9 billion over the next four years.
Of that total, $640 million would be allocated annually for highways. In addition, the Department of Transportation would earmark $210 million annually for New Jersey Transit, $105 million each year for municipal and county governments and $25 million annually for general improvements.
One proposed source for generating an additional $200 million a year is New Jersey's gasoline tax. The Department of Transportation has been lobbying state legislators for an increase from the current tax of 8 cents a gallon to 13 cents a gallon. Only 2 1/2 cents is now dedicated to transportation; under the proposal, 7 1/2 cents would be.
Such a funding mechanism would require approval by the legislature and by voters in a statewide referendum.
State Sen. Walter Rand, a Camden County Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, said he intended to study the renewal proposal before taking up the gas-tax issue.
Meanwhile, Deborah Lawlor, a spokeswoman with the Department of Transportation, said that a recent Gallup Poll commissioned by a coalition of labor and business groups indicated that 40 percent of motorists who knew about the Transportation Trust Fund said they would approve of a 5-cent increase in the motor-fuels tax.
Rehabilitation of highways and bridges is not just a New Jersey problem. In 1983, it was determined that $371 billion would be needed to rehabilitate 30,000 bridges and 94,000 highways throughout the country, according to a Congressional Budget Office study.
When Kean proposed the trust fund program for New Jersey in 1984, he said it would correct 40 years of neglect on roads and bridges. Business and labor leaders agreed that the program had shown results. Gluck said that 38,000 new construction jobs could be linked directly to trust fund projects. Those jobs, Gluck said, have been a factor in helping New Jersey post the second-lowest unemployment rate in the nation: 3.6 percent annually as of January.
"I think it would be difficult to find another equally compelling reason for the economic boom the state has been enjoying the past several years," Gluck said.*
Significant trust fund projects in South Jersey have included Route 90, which is a new state freeway in Camden County that is under construction on Haddonfield Road west of Route 130. When completed, the road will extend to Route 73 in Pennsauken. The project will cost $22.5 million.
A Camden County plan on the drawing board and earmarked for an appropriation from the proposed trust fund renewal is a $17 million project that would eliminate three traffic circles: Collingswood, Airport and Ellisburg. In all, the Transportation Department has recommended expenditures of nearly $90 million for Camden County projects through 1991.
In Gloucester County, the trust fund has provided $37 million to complete the northernmost 20 miles of Route 55 from Deptford to Route 42.
In 1985, a 4.2-mile section of Route 55 was opened from Route 42 to Route 47 in Deptford. In early 1986, a three-mile section was opened from Route 47 to Woodbury-Glassboro Road in Mantua Township. A remaining section is under construction from Mantua Township to Malaga in southeastern Gloucester County.
Route 55, to be finished in 1989, will link Deptford with Port Elizabeth in Cumberland County. Kean has termed the long-awaited Route 55 "the metaphor of South Jersey and the rest of the state" - a direct route south.
The trust fund also provided $23 million for the addition of a lane to Interstate 295 in West Deptford.
During the next four years, the Transportation Department wants to provide an additional $135 million for Gloucester County projects, including improvements to Routes 41, 42, 47 and 130.
In Burlington County, the trust fund provided $6 million for resurfacing Route 73 from High Street to Route 38 in Mount Holly, and $15.6 million for the addition of a second lane to Route 38 in Mount Holly between the New Jersey Turnpike and Pemberton Road. Both projects are nearing completion.
The trust fund program was also responsible for the early completion of the $21 million bridge on Route 130 over Rancocas Creek in Bridgeboro. The project was originally scheduled for completion last month, but it opened in August 1985.
In March, plans were announced for a $50 million project that would widen Route 73. The project, which was postponed, has been lumped with others proposed in the Transportation Department's renewal program. Work on the Route 73 widening is not scheduled to begin until 1990.
According to engineer James Morrison, the Route 73 project would be a top priority for South Jersey. It would include a three-mile stretch from Fellowship Road in Mount Laurel to Baker Boulevard in Evesham.
To pay for the completion of the Route 73 widening and several other Burlington County road projects, the Transportation Department will seek to provide up to $86.7 million through 1991.
While nearly $700 million in trust fund money has been used for improvements to the state's major rail- and bus-transportation systems, Gluck proposes to increase the allotment to $900 million under the trust fund renewal. In addition, she said that funding for New Jersey Transit should increase from a total of $50 million to a total of $105 million a year to ''upgrade, improve and expand" public transportation.
Sen. Rand, who sponsored the trust fund law, said its renewal was necessary. "We haven't finished all the things we have to do," Rand said. ''The whole state is in an uproar with detours, but you have to do it."
Other major projects that the trust fund has financed include engineering and construction of the Interstates 295 and 195 interchange in Burlington County, $68.7 million; improvements to the Garden State Parkway in Middlesex County, $60.9 million, and improvements to Route 1 from Trenton to New Brunswick, $58 million.
The state's costliest project was the completion of Interstate 287 through Bergen, Passaic and Morris Counties, for $398.6 million.
Delran Acts On Parking ComplaintsSource: http://articles.philly.com/1987-08-27/news/26168488_1_parking-ordinance-visitor-parking-residents
By Pat Quigley, Special to The InquirerPosted: August 27, 1987
Delran residents of Second, Third, Chestnut, Front, Main and Brown Streets may soon see something unusual in front of their homes - places to park their cars.
An ordinance approved by the Township Council last night limits parking on sections of those streets to residents of the area. Decals for cars showing that they belong to residents will be sold for $7 by the township. Each resident of the area also will receive two visitor parking permits.
Residents have complained during the last four months that employees of MacMillan Publishing Co. Inc., a firm on Brown Street, were parking in all the available spaces in front of their homes.
Solicitor Thomas Foy said some residents could not find parking places in front of their homes because of the employees. A number of residents in the area have no driveways.
Barbara Farley, attorney for MacMillan, said the ordinance discriminated against the company, Delran residents living outside the area and non-township residents.
"We are obviously opposed to the parking ordinance as it stands," Farley said. "It is obviously aimed at MacMillan. I know the reason for it. I think MacMillan has gone a long way to resolve the problem. In essence, what this ordinance will do is make it (the area) a private parking lot."
Although MacMillan supplies parking lots for its employees, Farley said she did not know whether enough spaces were provided for all employees and visitors.
Farley declined to make any additional comment after the meeting. Two township officials said they did not know how many employees work at MacMillan.
Although Farley said the situation had improved recently, several residents disagreed.
"If your house is in the immediate vicinity, if it hasn't improved in front of your house, it hasn't improved," said George Zitzler, a 15-year Chestnut Street resident who does not have a driveway.
Bond Includes Plan To Ease Delran Flooding ProblemSource: http://articles.philly.com/1987-09-02/news/26210793_1_water-problems-lawn-mower-township-officials
By Patricia Quigley, Special to The InquirerPosted: September 02, 1987
Brian Bauer has a swamp in his back yard.
And not by choice.
Bauer, who lives on Patricia Avenue in Delran, told the Township Council last week that he has flooding on his lawn and in his house, a condition that he said was not unusual on his side of the street, which is in the Swedes Run development.
But it is a condition township officials plan to investigate. At a meeting last Wednesday, the council gave preliminary approval to a $1 million bond ordinance that would provide a drainage system for Patricia Avenue, in addition to financing several other road and drainage projects.
A public hearing on the ordinance was scheduled for Sept. 23.
Bauer, who has lived on Patricia Avenue for three years and has been complaining about water problems to township officials for almost as long, said residents had a wide range of problems resulting from the flooding.
About 15 properties on Patricia Avenue are affected by the flooding, which Bauer attributed mainly to runoff from a soccer field that slopes down into the back yards.
Bauer said he paid $260 this summer to have his lawn mowed by a professional landscaper because he could not handle the waterlogged grass.
Another Patricia Avenue resident, Robert Leonard, said of one of his neighbors: "I actually watch him go out there with a Weed Wacker. That's how he has to cut his back lawn."
In addition, another man said he ruined his lawn mower when he tried to mow wet grass.
Other residents are afraid to allow their children to play in their back yards. Leonard, the father of three children, ages 1, 2, and 4, said he was concerned about their safety. Bauer said that there was water four inches deep on at least 10 properties, and that the water turned to ice in cold weather.
Mosquitoes are a problem in the summer. Residents have called on the Burlington County Mosquito Commission so many times that they know most of the workers by name.
In addition to the outdoor problems, residents also have flooding in their homes. Bauer has drained 60 to 100 gallons of water out of his basement nearly every day since April, he said.
Bauer also said he and his neighbors were worried about erosion and property values. "If I was to transfer tomorrow, my house is unsaleable," he said.
Bauer said that when he first complained to township officials, they told him the problem was his, attributing it to a nonfunctioning French drain, which is generally a stone-filled trench.
"There is a definite problem there," said David Benner, a consultant from the township's engineering firm, Richard A. Alaimo Associates of Mount Holly. ''We recognize that."
The engineer said, however, that the problem was probably not due to the soccer field, and that it was present before the field existed. He said the ground was not regraded when the field was developed.
Benner said that there had been a drainage system for the properties at one time, but that it had failed. According to the engineer, there is no indication of what the existing system is composed of. He said officials believe the system contains a series of underdrains - underground terra cotta pipes that gather water entering the ground and drain it elsewhere.
But he said there were no plans for such a system on file with his company, which was appointed the township's engineering firm in 1972, after the development was constructed.
Benner also said there was no way to determine who installed the system.
"The only thing I see there is a pipe coming into one of the inlets on, I believe, Swedes Run Drive," Benner said.
Benner said that if the township installed a functioning underdrain, it could detour the water before it affected the Patricia Avenue properties. He also said that it might be possible to connect the proposed underdrain with existing drains, but that a decision could be made only after a thorough investigation.
The engineer said the problem could be resolved in two to three months, depending on whether the township can forgo the normal bidding practice if the flooding is determined to be an emergency. The next steps are to investigate the extent of the problem, develop a plan to resolve it, and sign contracts for the work.
"We will get a solution," Bauer said. "I have faith in the system."
Communities Receive Grants From State For Roadway RepairSource: https://web.archive.org/web/20160101181032/http://articles.philly.com/1987-11-08/news/26173284_1_hough-grants-new-road
By Charlie Frush, Inquirer Staff WriterPosted: November 08, 1987
Thirteen Burlington County communities have received grants totaling $838,500 from the state Transportation Trust Fund for municipal road projects.
There were 192 grants given to all the counties in the state this year, according to Hazel Gluck, state transportation commissioner. The program, now in its fourth year, runs out Dec. 31 unless it is renewed by the Legislature.
Bordentown Township secured the largest grant, $100,000, in Burlington County for a project on Dunn's Mill Road, and Delanco got the smallest, $13,000, for work on Poplar Street. To qualify for the funding, the projects must be under way within a year.
The others were Bordentown City, $30,000 for Mary and Spring Streets; Cinnaminson, $88,000 for Adams Street; Edgewater Park, $70,000 for Perkins Lane; Evesham, $30,000 for Tuckerton Road; Fieldsboro, $63,000 for Washington Street; Florence, $97,000 for Olive Street; Moorestown, $80,000 for Hartford Road (Section 2); North Hanover, $50,000 for Wrightstown-Sykesville Road; Pemberton Borough, $86,000 for the St. John Street-Hough Street Bypass; Pemberton Township, $90,500 for Ridge Road, and Southampton, $41,000 for Eayrestown-Red Lion Road (Section 2).
Here are details:
EDGEWATER PARK. Perkins Lane, the roadway selected by the township for the program, is certainly a good candidate. It will be reconstructed from Railroad Avenue to Delanco Road, a distance of a little over six-tenths of a mile.
"It's in dreadful condition," said Lew Bott of Alaimo Associates, the township engineering firm. "It has been in a gradual state of deterioration. First of all, it's a very narrow road, and there are no curbs. Over a period of time, the process of freezing and thawing has broken up the road, and the edges of the road have broken off."
Bott said that the new road would be 20 feet wide and that bids probably would be sought in the spring.
CINNAMINSON. Adams Street, a four-block road that runs from Division Street to Route 130, has potholes and the paving is very old, according to township administrator John Ostrowski. The street will be reconstructed with six inches of base course and two inches of macadam.
PEMBERTON BOROUGH. Although technically it is not a bypass, the St. John Street-Hough Street corridor is used so much by motorists heading to and from Browns Mills or the Burlington County College that it is commonly referred to as one.
By traversing one block of St. John and four blocks of Hough, drivers bypass the traffic signal at Hanover and Elizabeth Streets.
The project calls for installation of curbs and repaving on the two streets, according to Gene Engelbrecht of Alaimo, the engineer for the borough.
DELANCO. Poplar Street hasn't been resurfaced in more than 30 years, township administrator Jeff Hatcher estimated. It runs for only about a block and a half from Rancocas Avenue to Franklin Street. It will be resurfaced. The grant does not cover engineering costs, Hatcher said, which can run between 10 to 20 percent of the cost of a project.
PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP. Ridge Road will be repaved with some shoulder improvements for drainage for 0.85 miles from Vance Street to Mirrow Lake.
BORDENTOWN CITY. Work is under way on Spring Street, which in addition to repaving will get new curbs and sidewalks, and the Mary Street project probably will be started in the spring. The work on Spring Street is from Elizabeth to Mary Street, and for Mary, it's from Spring to Pine Street.
SOUTHAMPTON. This will mark the second section of the Eayrestown-Red Lion Road to be renovated with trust fund money.
Section one, for about two miles from the Red Lion Inn to Church Road, was repaved in the summer. The road is badly "alligatored," according to township engineer Harold Maser of Maser Associates, and will break up if not repaired.
MOORESTOWN. The trust fund largess has twice come through to help the community reconstruct sections of Hartford Road.
It has come through again, and the $80,000 in the latest commitment will permit the township to build up another three-tenths of a mile of the road.
Work on the first section, in fact, got under way two weeks ago for the stretch of 2,500 feet from the Delran Township line toward Cox Street. The trust fund's new $80,000 commitment will permit the work to continue for another three-tenths of a mile. The road is closed, and completion of phase one will require another three or four weeks. Section two will probably begin in the spring.
In both cases, full reconstruction of the road is being done, with drainage improvements, according to township administrator John Terry.
FIELDSBORO. Washington Street, one of the community's main roads, will be reconstructed for about 700 feet from Fourth Street to Second Street with new drainage pipes and inlets.
According to R. Louis Gallagher, township engineer, the road is broken up in places, lacks curbing and suffered from poor drainage. Gallagher said the community hoped to continue improvements to the road for another three blocks, from Fourth Street to the Delaware River.
FLORENCE TOWNSHIP. Olive Street will be widened from 24 to 30 feet and new curbs and drainage installed as it is reconstructed for 600 feet from Delaware Avenue to a point between Third and Fifth Streets. Olive is 2,800 feet long, according to Gallagher, who is also the engineer in Florence, and the entire expanse is in bad condition.
NORTH HANOVER. There's a catch in North Hanover's plans to repair the mile of the Wrightstown-Sykesville Road within the township limits.
The problem is, it's a county road.
"I have been on the Township Committee for nine years," Mayor Stan Horner said, "and we have been trying for nine years to get the county to repair this section, with no luck at all. I'm sure they had a higher priority."
So the township soon will consider entering a cooperative agreement with the county next year, whereupon the road would be turned over to the township and the county will furnish funds to add to the state grant to reconstruct the road.
"The road is very bad," Horner said, and the township is already maintaining it in winter. "We have to use this road to get to some of our other roads."
A big problem has been the height of the road. It stands above surrounding property, Horner said, and rainwater runoff goes into the yards of residents, all of whom have septic systems that then fill up.
BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP. Dunn's Mill Road, once just a country road, will be modernized in a project that will get rid of the deep drainage ditches along its side and turn it into a suitable artery for the traffic it receives as the main road to the high school and as a connector between Routes 206 and 130.
"We're going put in storm drains, remove the ditches, put in curbs and then excavate the road sub-base, put in new base and repave it curb to curb and widen it a few inches," said Glen Petrauski, township director of public works. The road is now 22 feet wide.
The section to be reconstructed, from Interstate 295 to 206, is 2,600 feet long.
Delran Is Ready To Begin Area Road ImprovementsSource: http://articles.philly.com/1988-01-29/news/26281642_1_township-officials-repaving-roads-improvements
By Patricia Quigley, Special to The InquirerPosted: January 29, 1988
Delran has embarked on "the most aggressive road program" in the township's recent history, calling for improvements to roads in virtually all areas of the township, township officials said.
On Wednesday, the Township Council awarded a $1.7 million bond anticipation note to MidLantic Bank/South, based in Haddonfield, to finance the program and buy equipment.
The interest rate on the note is 5.25 percent, according to Mayor Richard Knight.
"It's the most aggressive road program Delran has undertaken," Knight said. "We have seen over the past three years the infrastructure is having more and more problems. Among those problems are caving storm drains and flooding."
Some of the roads in the 7.5-square-mile township are 15 to 20 years old, he said, and have received only patchwork or were not built well originally.
The improvement program "literally touches every neighborhood in Delran," Knight said, including Suburban Boulevard, Harper Boulevard and Stecher Avenue, and Tenby Chase drainage inlets.
Knight said the bulk of the money would be used for reconstructing and repaving roads and for drainage improvements.
Officials developed priorities for the roadwork based on a review 2 1/2 years ago by township engineer David Benner of Richard A. Alaimo Associates, Mount Holly. The council subsequently inspected the areas.
Work is expected to start in the next few months and last into 1989. Officials estimate that the project will take 12 to 18 months to complete.
Elections In 3 Towns Tomorrow Posts At Stake Are NonpartisanSource: http://articles.philly.com/1988-05-09/news/26260962_1_incumbents-campaign-manager-challengers
By Scott Brodeur and Ray Rinaldi, Special to The InquirerPosted: May 09, 1988
Voters tomorrow will choose officials in nonpartisan elections in Gloucester Township, Bass River Township and Delran.
In Gloucester Township, two slates of five candidates are trading insults in a campaign for control of the seven-member council.
Bass River voters will choose three Township Committee members from a field of four candidates. In Delran, the mayor and two Township Council members are running unopposed.
The Gloucester Township race pits the five incumbents, who call themselves the Good Government Team, against the New Team for Gloucester Township Taxpayers. The incumbents are all Democrats. The challengers are a mixture of Democrats, Republicans and independents.
Four of the five seats up for grabs in Gloucester Township are for four- year terms. The fifth race will determine who will assmue the two-year unexpired term of Aaron Alexander, who resigned earlier this year for health reasons.
The Good Government Team is led by the council president, Nicholas F. Trabosh, a lawyer who has served 12 years on the council.
Trabosh is joined by Gabriel G. Busa, owner of a floor-covering company; John "Jay" McGinniss, a master plumber, and Elizabeth Dougherty, a homemaker. Each has served six years on the council.
Samuel M. Siler, a teacher of data processing and industrial arts, is the slate's candidate for the unexpired two-year term. Siler was appointed by the council as the interim replacement in February.
The New Team for Gloucester Township Taxpayers comprises Daniel J. Pisko Jr., an operations manager for a condominium complex; Ethel "Dolly" Tames, a real estate agent; James H. King, a construction worker, and Anne DiCarlo, a shop operator. They are challenging the incumbents to four-year terms.
David M. Welsh, a former county employee who is now self-employed, is contending for the two-year unexpired term.
Frederick F. Fitchett, the campaign manager for the challengers, has complained throughout the campaign that the incumbents have thrown around too much weight at taxpayers' expense.
For instance, Fitchett said, the incumbents questioned the legitimacy of the challengers' nominating petitions in March because some of the signatures did not include middle initials. He called the challenge "ridiculous."
Fitchett also questioned the timing of the township's quarterly newsletter, which was mailed to residents last week. The cover of the color pamphlet, which is financed by taxes, includes a photograph of the five incumbents above a story praising the council for a budget cut.
"These are the types of things we've been up against all along," Fitchett said. "We don't think the taxpayers should have to put up with this any longer. It's a disgrace."
Trabosh, speaking for the incumbents, has complained about "a dirty campaign" run by the challengers, and he questions their experience.
"They have started so many unfounded rumors throughout this campaign, and they've waited until the end of the election so we wouldn't be able to address their silly accusations," Trabosh said.
"Usually in a campaign, there are some issues your opponents have that you could still consider if you get elected," Trabosh said. "But I haven't heard anything positive from them. Instead, they've been going around making things up to try to make us look bad."
In Bass River, where political parties have traditionally kept clear from running slates under ostensibly nonpartisan labels, the contest for three Township Committee seats is between a Republican county committeewoman on one side and the slate of a township school board member and two incumbents on the other.
Running on a ticket together are incumbents T. Richard Bethea, 39, a self- employed computer consultant; George McGeoch, 41, a union pipefitter, and Woodley Shuff, 41, a union electrician who is a member of the Bass River Board of Education.
sole opponent is Helen Hazard, 46, a Bass River secretary who is a member of the Pinelands Regional Board of Education, the Burlington County Mosquito Extermination Commission and the Republican County Committee.
Delran voters have little choice - the mayor and two Township Council members, all Democrats, are unopposed in their re-election bids.
Richard J. Knight, 42, a senior account executive for AT&T Co., is seeking his second four-year term as mayor. Mary Ann Rivell, 44, an administrative assistant to Assemblyman Thomas P. Foy (D., Burlington-Camden), and Walter Schultz, 54, shift supervisor for Rohm & Hass Co. in Bristol, Pa., are both running for their second four-year terms.
The Delran council has five members.
Polls for the three elections are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In Delran, Effects Of Housing ExaminedSource: http://articles.philly.com/1989-03-26/news/26127335_1_developments-township-administrator-single-family-homes
By Louise Harbach, Special to The InquirerPosted: March 26, 1989
Although Delran's current school population is way below the enrollment high of 14 years ago, recent housing approvals in the township have made school officials wonder whether the district's five schools will be able to handle an anticipated influx of new families.
Members of the Township Council and the school board will meet at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the municipal building to discuss the effect of two large housing developments on township services and the school district.
What necessitated the joint meeting was the approval within the last four months of two developments that will bring 1,451 houses and apartments to a site between Creek and Hartford Roads in one of the last undeveloped tracts in the township.
In January, after four years of negotiations, the council reached an agreement with Marlton developers Joseph and Steven Samost for construction of 707 units comprising 183 single-family homes, 308 townhouses and 216 condominiums in a 125-acre tract bounded by Creek, Hartford and Bridgeboro Roads.
In November, the council approved plans by Bergen County-based InterDevelCo for construction adjacent to the Samost site of a 744-unit development that will also have single-family homes, condominiums and townhouses, on a 135-acre site.
Each development will have 75 units set aside for low- and moderate-income families. Those houses or apartments will be interspersed throughout the developments.
Delran's township population rose from 10,065 in 1970 to 14,811 in 1980. During the same period the school population rose to 3,300 during the 1974-75 school year and then began to decline to the current enrollment figure of 2,187.
"The two developments mean a big question mark for us," said school official Doris Christy. "They will have an effect on enrollment, but how much we don't know yet. In the meantime, we're busy tallying the number of bedrooms so we can get a better idea of what to expect."
Both projects will be located in the southern section of the 7-square-mile township. The township is 80 percent to 90 percent developed, according to Matthew Watkins, township administrator.
The township decided to negotiate with the owners of the two properties so it could have some control in the future development of the township, said William Smock, council president. In 1984, the two developers sued the township, contending that zoning regulations did not allow enough density to construct low-income housing.
Delran Board To Study Need For Building SchoolSource: https://web.archive.org/web/20150914084749/http://articles.philly.com/1989-03-30/news/26126136_1_school-board-new-school-building-school
By Gary H. Sternberg, Special to The InquirerPosted: March 30, 1989
The Delran School District will conduct a study to determine whether two planned residential developments totaling 1,490 units will require the township to build a new school, school board President Ronald Napoli said last night at a meeting of his board and the Township Council.
School officials also agreed to provide the council with information to enable it to determine how recreation and school space should be distributed on 11.25 acres that developers plan to donate for public use.
The land is being donated by Bergen County-based InterDevelCo, which is planning to build 746 units, and Marlton developers Joseph and Steven Samost, who are planning a 744-unit development. Construction for both is to start this spring.
The two adjacent developments, bounded by Creek, Hartford and Bridgeboro Roads, will each consist of single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums.
The developers agreed to donate the 11.25 acres off Hartford Road after negotiations with the township. The Samosts agreed to build a football field and a tennis court on their parcel while InterDevelCo agreed to build a baseball field and basketball court on its parcel. Space on the parcels is also set aside for a school if the school board decides to build one.
"We want to site where you would put your building," council President William Smock told members of the school board last night.
The school board agreed last night to provide the council with the plans for the 600-student Millbridge Elementary School so that council members could get an idea of how much space is needed to build a school.
Council members said the fields and courts would be installed during the early stages of the subdivisions, but both council and school board members agreed that some recreational facilities may have to be removed if a school is eventually built on the site.
Council Authorizes Site's CondemnationSource: http://articles.philly.com/1989-07-05/news/26132901_1_easement-township-plans-drainage
By Ruth Masters, Special to The InquirerPosted: July 05, 1989
The Delran Township Council has authorized condemnation proceedings against property owned by two residents who refused to grant the township a storm- drainage easement.
The township plans to sue Mark and Joanne Pippitt of the 800 block of Faunce Street in order to gain access to a 15-by-33-foot strip of land. The Pippitts rejected a May 1 offer of $2,100 for the easement.
Accepting the offer would have given the township access to the land in order to lay and maintain drainage pipes. The Pippitts are out of the country and could not be reached for comment.
The easement is for a project that would replace a non-functioning drain at the end of Stecher Avenue. The existing drain has resulted in flooding at neighboring properties, said township administrator Jeff Hatcher.
Joseph and Barbara Kowaleski of the first block of Stecher Avenue received $800 for granting a storm-drainage easement. Hatcher said no other property owners were asked for easements for the project, which is expected to cost the township $35,800.
The houses at the end of Stecher, which is a dead-end street, abut those at the end of Faunce Street. One Faunce Street resident complained that heavy rains turn her back yard into a lake and that soil erosion from the flooding has led her to replace her grass three times in the last seven years.
Hatcher and several council members said they were not sure why the Pippitts rejected the township's offer but added that condemnation would allow the township to take possession of the needed land. In return, the couple would receive the fair market value of the property, Councilman Andrew Ritzie said. The $2,100 offered the couple in May was fair-market value based upon a township appraisal done in March.
Hatcher said no starting date for the project has been set since work cannot begin until the easement dispute is resolved. He added that road reconstruction and curb installation work costing about $197,300 also would be done.
Delran Clears Up Right-of-way IssueSource: http://articles.philly.com/1989-08-06/news/26150166_1_drainage-problem-road-reconstruction-pipes
By Ruth Masters, Special to The InquirerPosted: August 06, 1989
Delran Township has settled a misunderstanding with two residents over access to land needed to install drainage pipes.
In its June 28 meeting, the Township Council authorized legal proceedings against Mark and Joanne Pippitt of the 800 block of Faunce Street, believing that the couple had rejected a $2,100 offer for right of access.
The township wants to lay pipes beneath a 15-by-33-foot strip of the Pippitts' land to correct a drainage problem at the end of Faunce Street and Stecher Avenue.
In a May 12 letter to the council, Bob Bucker, who has power of attorney for the Pippitts, said that the couple had questions about taxes, land ownership and the possible destruction of trees. Bucker has been dealing with the township on behalf of his daughter and son-in-law, who are out of the country.
The tone of the letter led the township's attorney to conclude that it was a rejection and to recommend condemnation proceedings, according to Jan Schlesinger, a partner in the firm representing Delran. Schlesinger said he thought the Pippitts may not have understood what an easement was.
"The township kind of jumped the gun," Bucker said. "Based on my conversations with my daughter, they just had some questions. They didn't reject it."
Township administrator Jeff Hatcher said the settlement "is the original one."
"The only thing that went on is that we met with Mr. Bucker and indicated where the easement would be going. There are no guarantees involved, but I think they are satisfied that only one tree will be killed," Hatcher said.
The drainage repair is part of a road reconstruction and curb installation project that is expected to cost $197,300.
School Board In Delran Prepares For Pupil BoomSource: http://articles.philly.com/1989-08-20/news/26149182_1_firm-or-consultant-school-board-new-development
By Ruth Masters, Special to The InquirerPosted: August 20, 1989
While the two developers of 1,500 housing units in Delran are inching toward groundbreaking, the township's school board is wrestling with the issue of how to handle the potential influx of 600 students into the township within the next few years.
Bergen-based developer InterDevelCo may begin construction on the first of 745 housing units on a 135-acre tract as early as Nov. 1, according to company vice president Ed Gallacher.
The complex will have 188 single-family houses, 365 townhouses, 192 garden condominiums, 75 of which will be low-income. The first of the single-family homes is scheduled to be completed next spring.
However, Joseph Samost, the developer who proposed building 707 units on a contiguous 125-acre tract, has not yet received final approval for his plans from the Township Council. Preliminary plans call for the construction of 183 single-family homes, 308 townhouses and 216 condominiums, 75 of which would be for low-income families.
Attorneys for Samost would not say how close the company was to submitting final plans. After the plans are submitted, the council will hold a public hearing and then vote on their approval.
Both tracts are in the area between Creek, Hartford and Bridgeboro Roads. Both developers have agreed to set aside about 5.5 acres for recreational use and for a school, if one is needed.
School board President Ronald Napoli said last week that the board was not certain that a new school would be needed. The district now has a student population of about 2,200. Peak enrollment during the 1974-75 school year was 3,300 students.
The board is conducting a room-by-room study of the district's high, middle and three elementary schools to determine the amount of unused space. In addition, it will conduct an impact study of the new development.
"Right now, we are analyzing the use of our present facilities," Napoli said. "There is no question today that there is some unused capacity. The degree is what we have to determine."
"We will then analyze the impact of the new development on student population and then determine if we need a new school and what size it would be," he said.
District Superintendent Bernard Shapiro said last week that the school board was still wrestling with the issue of the growth study, although he said there was a consensus among school board members that a committee involving community members should be formed.
"The intent is to keep the study committee small enough to be manageable, but big enough to involve the community," he said, adding that the committee could be formed in early fall.
The board may also hire an outside firm or consultant to help with population projections and determining the latest demographic trends.
State Delays Could Threaten Delran ProjectsSource: http://articles.philly.com/1990-02-18/news/25883147_1_state-delays-bins-school-board
By Joseph N. DiStefano, Special to The InquirerPosted: February 18, 1990
Delran school officials said Monday night that there are four projects that are threatened by the delay in approval of the state's 1990 budget.
School board Vice President Robert Mull said the likelihood of a conservative education appropriation may postpone the projects or force cuts in other areas.
Mull said new Department of Environmental Protection regulations require Delran to replace in-ground heating fuel tanks at Cambridge, Aronson and Delran Middle Schools, at a cost of $50,000 each. The department requires replacement based on age, regardless of the tanks' conditions.
Mull also said the district planned to put up three flagpoles at the football stadium and a backdrop at the baseball field.
A street-side enclosure for large trash bins will be built on Hartford Road near the high school to make it easier to remove waste and prevent health hazards, Mull said. The bins are now behind the high school.
In other business, the board unanimously voted to award a contract for busing students to the Kingsway School to Miller Transportation Co., but decided against contracting out the bus route to Charles Street School in Palmyra.
Delran Set For Repairs At 2 SchoolsSource: http://articles.philly.com/1992-05-10/news/26013575_1_repairs-school-board-life-expectancy
By Josh Zimmer, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENTPosted: May 10, 1992
Plans to repair two of the Delran school system's long outdated heating and ventilation units were spared the budget ax last week.
Repairs on the troublesome old systems could begin this summer, according to superintendent Carl Johnson.
The nine-member school board voted to preserve the $60,000 to $80,000 in capital funds needed to repair the heating and ventilation units in the Aronson Bell and Cambridge Elementary Schools.
The systems have frequently broken down over the years, though they have not caused school shutdowns, said William Blatchley, director of buildings and grounds.
"It's normally a critical breakdown problem," Blatchley said. "We've been able to keep them running, but you can only keep the dice rolling so long."
The oil-fired, hot water/steam units have already surpassed their normal 50-year life expectancy, he said.
The Aronson Bell school opened in 1918 and Cambridge in 1923. Only repairs and retrofits to the equipment, where parts were no longer available, have kept the systems functioning, Blatchley said.
The expected project would not overhaul the systems but would involve replacing parts, Blatchley said.
The school board had intended to start renovations during the 1990-91 school year, as part of a five-year plan that modernized similar systems the previous two years at the high school and Millbridge Elementary School.
Delran Board Orders Traffic Study Near Middle SchoolSource: http://articles.philly.com/1992-09-10/news/26024855_1_school-addition-middle-school-school-board
By Josh Zimmer, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENTPosted: September 10, 1992
In response to Delran residents' concerns that an addition to the middle school would create a traffic problem on an already busy Chester Avenue, a $3,000 to $5,000 study is underway to determine how streams of buses and extra cars would mix with existing traffic.
The school board, which awarded the contract for the study Sept. 2 to the Medford traffic engineering firm of Horner & Canter Associates, wants to allay any fears that might accompany its $7.9 million construction referendum scheduled for next month. If approved, the Cambridge and Aronson Bell Elementary Schools would be closed once a 39,638-square-foot elementary school addition to the middle school is completed.
The referendum also proposes funds for expansion and modernization of the administrative offices, currently in Aronson Bell.
"We're just doing this to make sure people are comfortable with (the referendum)," James Hatzold, chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, said last Thursday.
At a special July board meeting to introduce the proposal and to schedule the Oct. 13 referendum date, many residents criticized the project, saying it was too expensive and would create a dangerous traffic situation. Many of them came from the neighborhoods surrounding both schools where children often walk to school.
Chester Avenue is a heavily trafficked street on weekdays, when hundreds of workers stream in from Route 130 to their jobs at Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc.
The two-week study will analyze car counts being taken near or on Chester Avenue, Jerry Canter, vice president of Horner & Canter, said Friday. The study began before school opened Tuesday, so it would take into account school and non-school traffic.
Hatzold said the board wanted to present the findings at Monday's meeting, but Canter said the earliest it could be completed was later next week. Holy Cross High School, with an entrance off Chester Avenue, starts several days later, and traffic to and from there will also be included, Canter said.
Hatzold said the new school hours, starting from approximately 9:15 to 9:30 a.m. and ending from 3:15 to 3:30 p.m., will not coincide with traffic to and from Macmillan.
About 450 Macmillan workers begin at 7:30 a.m. and leave at 3:30 p.m. Another 250 workers arrive in three other shifts staggered at 30 minute intervals.
The last shift starts at 9 a.m. and leaves at 5 p.m., a company personnel clerk said Friday.
The board says passage of the referendum is necessary to replace the outdated Cambridge and Aronson Bell Elementary Schools, each built about 70 years ago. The buildings, which can house about 293 kindergarten to fifth- grade students, are both at or near capacity.
The middle school addition would house an estimated 500 K-5 students. With an influx of about 250 students expected from families moving into a new, 713- house development on Hartford Road, the board says it must act now to increase capacity and modernize its facilities.
Stinging Defeat In Delran Of A Bond Issue For SchoolSource: http://articles.philly.com/1992-10-14/news/25999801_1_bond-issue-school-board-cambridge-elementary-schools
By Josh Zimmer, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENTPosted: October 14, 1992
DELRAN — Voters last night resoundingly defeated a proposed $7.8-million bond issue to build an elementary school.
The vote was 1,811 against to 726 in favor.
"The voters expressed their concern about unregulated spending," said activist Albert Fynan, who helped organize residents against the proposition.
If the measure had passed, residents would not have seen a tax increase for the first four years, but they would have paid an estimated $38 annually over the next 20 years, according to the school board.
Despite an aggressive public relations campaign, the school board apparently failed to convince residents that the project was crucial to accommodate an expected influx of 200 students from a 713-housing development that is under construction.
Two of the district's three elementary schools are at or over capacity, the board said.
"This means we don't have a solution for the problems we were trying to address," Superintendent Carl I. Johnson said. "We're going to continue to get more children, and we're going to continue to try to maintain two old buildings (Aronson Bell and Cambridge Elementary Schools) and we have no additional classrooms."
The proposal called for building an elementary school by adding a 40,000 square feet to the existing middle school on Chester Avenue, which would accommodate 530 students. The addition could have been expanded to fit 200 more children. In addition, Aronson Bell and Cambridge schools, both about 70 years old, would have been shut down or demolished.
The proposal also included funding for new administrative and child study team offices, furniture, repairs to the high school, middle school and Millbridge elementary school and $963,000 in architectural fees.
The board contended that renovating the two existing schools would have cost more than the one addition.
After voting last night, 71-year-old Ann Saputo said her taxes were already high enough.
"I voted a big 'No,' " she said. "I'm paying $3,300 (in taxes). I'm at the point now where I think it's outrageous they want to build a new school. I'm on a fixed income."
Taxes were the issue on voters' minds, but in the months preceding the referendum, residents also expressed other concerns.
Many residents consider Aronson Bell and Cambridge to be neighborhood schools, where children either walk to classes every day or live within a short busing distance.
In addition, Cambridge residents were concerned that children would be forced to make an unsafe walk across the heavily trafficked Chester Avenue in order to reach the new elementary school, Fynan said.
School Wouldn't Add To Taxes, Delran Says A New $7.6 Million Bond Would Replace A Bond That Is Expiring, Officials Say. Voters Will Decide Feb. 17.Source: http://articles.philly.com/1994-02-06/news/25859445_1_new-bond-new-school-middle-school
By Laurent Sacharoff, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENTPosted: February 06, 1994
DELRAN — More than a year after a $7.8 million bond referendum for a new school failed resoundingly, voters in Delran will decide Feb. 17 on a $7.6 million bond that backers say has one important selling point:
No new taxes.
The money would build a 30-class intermediate school that is needed, administrators say, to make room in the crowded system for more pupils from two planned 700-unit housing developments.
No new taxes would be needed because an old bond will expire in 1995, and the new bond would simply replace it. By approving the bond, voters would forgo a possible - although not guaranteed - tax reduction of up to $55 per resident per year, said Carl Johnson, superintendent of schools.
"This is a window of opportunity to do this type of thing that would be out the door, so to speak," Johnson said.
Lining up a new bond right after an old one expires is not a new idea to school districts. Edgewater Park plans to do the same thing in April for about $550,000.
In Delran, a 20-year bond that had raised money for its high school expires at the end of 1995.
If the plan is approved, Aronson Bell Elementary School would be razed immediately to build a new school serving up to 750 pupils from grades three through five on the Creek Road site. Johnson expects the school will be named Delran Intermediate School.
The new school would be finished by September 1995, Johnson said. Construction would be funded with short-term loans to be repaid when the new bond starts in 1996.
Delran has three elementary schools: Millbridge, Aronson Bell and Cambridge. If the plan passes, Cambridge would be closed and Millbridge would take all kindergartners through second graders. As a result, all Delran students will go to the same schools as they progress through the system.
The previous referendum called for building a smaller elementary school next to the middle school.
During construction, Aronson Bell pupils would be put in other schools, although Johnson said no plans had been finalized.
Voting will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 17 at Millbridge School, the middle school on Chester Road, and the high school at Hartford and Conrow Roads.
New School To Herald A New Era For Delran Delran Intermediate Will Offer The District More Than Nice Digs. It Will Also Bring Unity And Equity, Officials Hope.
By Natalie Pompilio, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENTPosted: August 07, 1995
DELRAN — Route 130 has been a physical barrier for residents here since before the Depression, when it was a two-lane dirt road called the Burlington Pike.
Recently, the six-lane highway has been an educational and social barrier for the town's young people as well.
Aronson Bell Elementary, once located near Rancocas Creek in the Bridgeboro section, and Cambridge Elementary, nearer to the Delaware River, were in Old Delran, the established part of town that includes the land west of Route 130 and a small part of the east side near the Rancocas.
Millbridge Elementary, on Conrow Road, is in New Delran, the rest of the land east of Route 130 that was built up after World War II.
Today, the school district is breaking ground on a new intermediate school, the first step in a plan that it hopes will bridge those divisions.
The problem, in the words of School Superintendent Carl Johnson, has been ''education equity."
Aronson Bell and Cambridge were very small; for example, each had one first-grade classroom, while Millbridge had four. The geographic isolation of the two smaller schools, as well as their size, hindered learning. Students at Millbridge were receiving benefits such as team teaching and specialized instruction that the other schools' children weren't.
Another problem was a social one.
"I had parents come up to me and say their children had a hard time adjusting to the middle school because their children had been isolated at Aronson Bell or Cambridge," Johnson said.
When the new school, tentatively named Delran Intermediate, opens in September 1996, it will house grades 3 through 5. Students in grades K to 2 will attend Millbridge School; grades 6 to 8 will stay in Delran Middle School, and grades 9 to 12 will be in the high school.
The new system will allow students to meet in kindergarten and travel through the school system together, as well as give them new educational opportunities.
To Michael Gallucci, principal of the high school, the change was long overdue.
The 25-year veteran of the Delran school system said he was especially excited about the process because, "I get the product."
Aronson Bell Elementary was torn down last summer; its grounds are being used for the new building. Cambridgewas closed at the end of this past school year, and the township is considering using it as a recreation or community center.
"Those two schools were antiquated when I came on board in 1970," Gallucci said.
Residents apparently agreed. Voters approved a $7.8 million plan for the new school in a February 1994 referendum.
The new school was originally scheduled to open this September, but permit problems delayed the building process. In October 1994, the architectural plan submitted to the county's Soil Conservation District fell short of drainage requirements. In March, a second plan was submitted that was finally approved in June.
While the school is under construction, fifth graders from Aronson Bell will attend class at the middle school, while grades K to 4 will be housed at Millbridge. To accommodate the additional students at Millbridge, the district has bought four portable classrooms at a total cost of about $120,000. These units will be sold back after this school year. The superintendent estimated that the district would get back 80 percent of the purchase price.
Busing the students to their new schools will not cost any additional money, Johnson said. The district now buses about 75 percent of its students, and that percentage will remain about the same, he said. The only hurdle, he said, will be getting through this school year.
"We're going to have to deal with some inconveniences this coming year, but there's light at the end of the tunnel," Johnson said.
In Delran, The Bell Tolls For Cambridge School The Building Will Be Razed In November.Source: http://articles.philly.com/1995-09-24/news/25719111_1_new-intermediate-school-cambridge-school-school-board
By Natalie Pompilio, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENTPosted: September 24, 1995
DELRAN — Adele Yuka remembers running around Cambridge School, banging pots and pans together. World War I was over, and the students were celebrating with a makeshift parade.
"It was a beautiful school," Yuka, 85, said. "We all loved that school."
The daughter of Polish immigrants, Yuka attended third and fourth grade at Cambridge. Her favorite teacher was Miss Thomas, who had to retire when she married. Miss Thomas read the Bible to the students every morning and let them dress in ethnic costumes.
"My sister and I had long gowns and we stood in front of everyone. One of the boys had to wear black bloomers and I still can't forget that," Yuka said.
Yuka and other alumni of the elementary school will always have their memories but they won't always have their school. The 77-year-old building is targeted for demolition beginning in November.
With Delran's new intermediate school under construction and scheduled to open in September 1996, the school board no longer had use for the building. The school was offered to the township, perhaps as a recreation or community center, but the council turned it down. The school board voted unanimously in late August for the school's demoli-tion.
Although many residents of the Cambridge section of Delran are saddened by the loss, they said they would rather see the school torn down than used for anything other than education.
"The neighborhood couldn't handle it," said Henry Shinn, who has lived in the quiet community, which was once a largely Polish settlement, for the last 10 years.
As a school, he said, the building was in use from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. But as a community center, for example, the building would have been open late nights and on weekends.
Leaving the building as it had been since the end of school last June, with its windows boarded over, didn't please residents either, Shinn said.
"In the last month, we've had problems with kids around the school, hanging there late at night, breaking bottles," he said.
But Shinn is sad to see the school go.
His parents attended Cambridge School and his 5-year-old son, Jon, would have started kindergarten there this September.
Instead, Jon is attending private school.
"I was really disappointed. He would have been the third generation to go to kindergarten in Delran schools. The school's got a lot of memories tied up in it," Shinn said.
Built in 1918, the four-room building cost $12,804 and originally housed grades 1-7.
Stoves kept the rooms warm, but students had to brave the weather if they needed to use one of the outhouses.
Most were farm children who were lucky to make it as far as seventh grade before being kept home to work the land.
That's what happened to Russ Hullings' grandmother.
"She loved that place. She had wonderful penmanship and she was always so proud of it," the Riverside resident said. "She got good marks and was always encouraged to keep on her studies, but she was a farm girl and she was needed there."
A local historian, Hullings generally opposes tearing down old buildings.
In Riverside, two turn-of-the-century structures - Henry Taubal's Mill and Holt's Box Factory - were recently destroyed.
"It's a travesty that we lose another of our old treasures," he said of Cambridge School. "Surely there's some use for it."
Hullings said that whenever his grandmother spoke of Cambridge School, ''she was happy."
Lorraine Schmierer, 61, said her grandchildren are the fourth generation of her family to attend Delran public schools. When she went to Cambridge, she said, "you knew everybody."
One of five children, one year apart, who attended the school, Schmierer remembered that if any of her siblings got into trouble, their mother could just walk in and talk with a teacher.
"You didn't need an appointment. She could just come in and pull you out of school. It worked well," said Schmierer, a former Delran mayor.
As for the quality of education, Schmierer said, "I didn't do too bad in life."