A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, January 30, 2012

History: County Neglects Aberdeen Road Bridge Over 40 Years (1935)

According to the 25 Jan 1935 edition of The Matawan Journal (page 1 col 4), for over forty years the Monmouth County Freeholders eschewed their obligation towards the bridge over Matawan Creek on Aberdeen Road. Apparently the Board had been recently reorganized back in 1892 and the matter was either forgotten or put out of their minds.

Upon the 'small' board of freeholders taking over the management of the county, and none of the new members being particularly interested in the needs of the township, the ownership of the roadway soon passed from their minds and it was grossly neglected as to upkeep by the county, altho the unjustness of the attitude was brot to the attention of several subsequent boards.

Rensselaer L Cartan, chairman of Matawan Borough Council's street committee, appeared before the Board of Chosen Freeholders armed with a copy of the 1892 minutes book and made the Borough's case for the county's obligation towards the bridge. He took the opportunity to suggest that the county work with the borough to renovate the bridge in such a way that it facilitated the borough's plan to build a second dam and form what would soon become Lake Matawan.

. . . it was suggested that now the matter of ownership being finally determined, federal aid be asked for, so that the road might be raised six feet and widened so that when the present bridge becomes obsolete the creek can be filled in, which would make a dam.

The area between the proposed dam and Lake Lefferts could be flooded to a depth of three feet, and provide another lake to Matawan's chain. The work could be arranged so that it might be done by federal loan, while the material could be provided for a trifling cost, if any. Should the project go thru, it would provide labor for all of the relief help, as well as for the trucks needed for hauling the earth.


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