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Plans advance for county road department

5/12/76 by John Phillips

Plans for designing a new Middlesex County road department complex in North Brunswick were given preliminary approval yesterday.

The freeholders’ highway and bridges committee agreed yesterday to recommend to the full freeholder board a proposal to draw up architects’ plans for the $2,328,566 complex.

If the freeholders approve, they will authorize $121,000 to pay for the design plans, ac-| cording to Freeholder John Phillips, chairman of the committee.

Phillips said he hopes the present federal public works bill, now in a House-Senate conference, will be voted out, approved and signed by President Gerald Ford.

If that happens, the complex, to be located adjacent to the county workhouse on Route 130, would be completely funded by the federal government according to John McHugh.

But if the plans are approved or if McHugh is not eligible for the freeholders  could get bonds to pay for the complex or part of it. "If we have this year, we would be paying it until 1977."

The complex building could be done in stages, Phillips said. The entire complex would contain an administration building, a maintenance building, a vehicle storage building and a material storage shed.

By deleting the administration building and the vehicle storage building and by eliminating the planned macadam parking lots for employes, the project would cost $1,416,203, according to an estimate submitted by the architects, James Thompson and Barrett Davies of Franklin.
But the freeholders probably will want the entire complex built at one time if federal funds pave the way, Phillips said.

That is why the architects’ plans must be ready if the bill is signed, he added.

“If anything is available, I would hope it would be first-come, first-served,’’ Phillips said.

The road department until now has been housed in small garages scattered throughout
the county, and, if built, the complex would be part of a plan to centralize road department operations. Phillips proposes one major headquarters building on each side of the Raritan River.

The North Brunswick site would be one, and the Raritan Arsenal in Edison, now used to store some road department equipment and for other operations, could become the other, he said.

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