Byram gets one final meeting with DOT to discuss Route 206 plans

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:55

    BYRAM-After months of wrangling, even going so far as to completely withdraw support for the Route 206 expansion project, Byram is finally going to get a chance to meet face to face with the state Department of Transportation. The meeting, arranged by Senator Robert Littell's office at the request of the Byram Council is to take place next week. Janet Blum, Littell's Director of Administration said this will be Byram's last chance to voice concerns and propose any changes. "This is it. This will be the last stab at it," said Blum. "What can be resolved will be. If the DOT can't bend on it they won't, but if they can they will". According to Blum, DOT top officials, including Assistant Commissioner Dennis Keck, will attend the meeting to facilitate a quick resolution. "We will sit down across the table together and see what can be done," said Blum. "They've seen the list that Byram wants to talk about." However, she warned, the project as it stands can not be scrapped. Instead, only minor changes could result from the meeting. "The changes can't be major at this point but if we can do some tweaking, I am sure they will," explained Blum. "We are trying to facilitate communication and get a resolution. We are doing what we can do." The council recently pulled all its support from the project when several requests for a meeting with the DOT went unanswered. Byram officials believe the project is flawed because it does not include context sensitive design, does not take into consideration changes in state planning methodologies or the new rules regulating Highlands Preservation areas. In addition, they have complained, Byram was left out of most of the planning process despite early assurances by the state that local officials would be included. This meeting, according to Blum, is Byram's final opportunity. "They have gone one way then another three times already," claimed Blum. "They can't drag this out".