The potholes at the end of Forest Lakes Drive and Rt. 206 are growing deeper, as are the frustrations and concerns of residents. The property, which after much investigation, has been deemed to be "not a road," belongs to IAT Reinsurance, and two weeks ago, attorney John Ursin said that any interested parties who would like to take responsibility for fixing the unsightly and dangerous divots would be welcome to get in touch with his office.
Some have even suggested that the proximity to Rt. 206 may put the potholes under the jurisdiction of the State of New Jersey, but the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) doesn’t believe the potholes are their purview, either. A long-time NJDOT official, who wished his name withheld, said that the department is aware of the problem and that an inquiry has been moving up the chain of command.
“We have no record to show that the DOT is responsible for these potholes,” the official said. "But we know about the issues and we’re investigating it.”
It has been confirmed that the road doesn’t exist as such on a municipal level, and state records corroborate that information. In fact, the straight-line diagrams which the state files for all interstate, state, and county roads show that Forest Lakes Drive North is simply non-existent where Rt. 206 traverses Andover Borough.
Because the majority of people affected by the potholes are members of the 400-home Forest Lakes community, the Forest Lakes Club is one of the entities that have been offered "ownership" of the potholes by IAT.
The club’s board met Monday evening, Jan 27 to discuss the matter, and issued a statement shortly thereafter, saying, “We have been in regular communication with all of the concerned parties and there have been steps taken towards a resolution that will benefit all. We look forward to being able to announce further details soon.”
With that said, it remains to be seen exactly what action will be taken to claim the task of repairing the potholes. But in the meantime, residents and daycare patrons will have to continue to take care when turning onto Forest Lakes Drive. The traffic cones marking the holes tell the tale of what’s already been a long winter, and the issue seems far from resolved. The cones themselves even have a bit of intrigue attached- no one knows exactly where they came from, and no one will confess to being the one who placed them there. And until the Forest Lakes Club is ready to reveal their plan, the only certain thing surrounding the potholes is that nothing is certain at all.