LITTLE SILVER STATION LOT TO GET UPGRADES

ls-station-lotThe lot is owned by NJ Transit but operated by the borough. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fifteen years without repairs have taken a toll on the Little Silver train station parking lot, but the borough has started the process to bring the large commuter space up to snuff.

It could be a long process, though, as bids for all the needed repairs have exceeded the amount the borough is willing or able to spend.

Borough officials will sign a contract with a South River construction company to begin the first phase of what they say is much-needed improvements to the NJ Transit-owned lot on the west side of the train tracks. After borough expenses are covered, NJ Transit gets the surplus from fees collected at the lot.

“It needs work. Bad,” said John Bennett III, borough attorney, noting that cracks, faded lines and poor drainage are prevalent. “Hopefully, that’ll be done quickly, because we have some problems there.”

This first round of work will include new curbing, sidewalks and reconstruction of drainage and storm pipes. The $103,000 cost will be paid for through permit fees collected at the lot, Bennett said.

The borough, which raised permit fees in 2008, has about $180,000 set aside to pay for the repairs, and officials hope that another round of bids for more upgrades to the lot will come in  lower than in a recent round. The council rejected bids for the other two phases of repairs and upgrades — striping, seal coating and removal of meters to install two pay stations — on Tuesday night because they were over budget.

It isn’t known yet whether work at the lot will affect commuters, who will be applying for yearly permits next month, according to parking official Amy Hirsch.