aerial view of workers digging out a manhole in the street

Carteret Residents Get Unexpected Visit From Road Workers on Sunday

Was it Miscommunication or Intimidation?

(Carteret, NJ) Road workers showed up at the Meridian Square apartment complex on Sunday to begin laying out the controversial construction of a proposed commuter road through private property that residents say is unnecessary and unsafe.

The appearance of a surveyor on Meridian Square property comes on the heels of the February 22 borough council meeting at which more than two dozen residents showed up in opposition to Mayor Reiman and the Borough of Carteret’s plan to build an extension of Carteret Avenue, past an elementary school, across Roosevelt Avenue and between two apartment complexes, Meridian Square, the Lexington — and a group of condominiums.

At the council meeting Mayor Reiman inaccurately stated that the road extension was approved by the owners of Meridian Square. It was not and the owners of the property are in court fighting the condemnation of their property for the road extension, 

The mayor also failed to tell the public why the road extension was necessary or why he wants the road built years before a ferry would be in service. When asked at the council meeting if the road was needed for his plans to build a commuter ferry terminal, he said it was not.  The Carteret Avenue extension is “independent of the ferry project,” Reiman said at the meeting.  

Residents said they were shocked and annoyed to see a worker wearing a safety vest in the parking lot of Meridian Square early Sunday afternoon. The worker came to the site unannounced and was marking out areas where the road would go. The residents approached the worker and asked him why was he on the property.

“He said he was just following orders,” then left, say the residents.

The residents said the worker identified himself as a surveyor believed to be contracted by Black Rock Enterprises LLC of Old Bridge, NJ. Black Rock was one of only two bidders for the road project in 2022. Their bid was for $918,666. The bid was approved by CME – a large engineering firm headquartered in Parlin, NJ.

“What was the purpose of having a road surveyor at our complex on a Sunday? Was it a miscommunication between the contractor and borough or was it subtle intimidation by the borough to let the residents – most of whom are home on Sunday –  know the borough is moving ahead with the road extension no matter what we say,”  asked Wayne Johnson, who has been spearheading opposition to the road extension for six months.

“People are more determined now to fight the commuter road,” said Johnson and other residents who do not want to be named fearing retribution from the borough. 

Residents said they believe Sunday’s activity at the apartment complex demonstrates that the mayor is trying to act quickly to build the road, which has no specific purpose, before state officials find out that the road is an unnecessary danger to the neighborhood.


Johnson and his neighbors say they are going to step up their calls to the l9th District legislators – who represent Carteret – and to Middlesex County Commissioners to call their attention to the public opposition to the Carteret Avenue extension.

“We have written to the state legislators and the county commissioners – but so far, we have had no response. We will step up our efforts to get them to come down to our neighborhood and see for themselves how taxpayer money is being misused. I want them to come and talk to the parents of the children at the school who will be put in danger because of this completely unnecessary road project,” said Johnson.

Wayne Johnson can be reached at

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