Friday, March 26, 2010
A look at the broken retaining wall that is endangering a North Plainfield building at 81 Westervelt Avenue prompted me to look further along the Green Brook, a natural border between the borough and the city of Plainfield.
Just past the collapsing house, another retaining wall on the North Plainfield side appears to be in precarious condition.
Recent heavy rains have washed away soil around tree roots and loosened various structures designed to contain the brook, which has been the subject of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study for decades. No work has yet been done on the portion of the brook between Dunellen and Scotch Plains. Eighteen bridges link Plainfield and North Plainfield over the brook and the border is the subject of a longterm plan to have a pedestrian and bike path along the brook.
As it is, the brook has many fallen trees and much trash on its banks. Some parts are silted up. Because decisions on the Green Brook involve Union, Somerset and Middlesex counties, action tends to be slow.
Here, debris has piled up under a building that spans the brook . There does not seem to be any cooperative clean-up plan for the brook.
This bridge on Watchung Avenue has a big crack. What would it take for authorities to assess the waterway once or twice a year and record its condition as well as the status of the many bridges between Plainfield and North Plainfield? The recent storms have made significant changes. In Plainfield, Councilmen Rashid Burney and Adrian Mapp are the 2010 liaisons to the Green Brook Flood Control Commission. Every year, the Commission holds a memorial service marking the date of a flood that caused fatalities at the Watchung Circle many years ago. But how soon will there be any action to inspect the brook pending major flood controls being put in place? Just asking.