What’s Going at the Corner of Valley and Hamburg


By Robert Leszkowicz, Staff Writer

The question of what is going on at the corner between Hamburg Turnpike and Valley Road in Wayne New Jersey, has been the center of question for many local Wayne residents. News of “The Swap” had many wondering what it means and how it would affect the future of Wayne, as plans made between the town and Passaic County will change how such roads will for now be maintained and who has responsibility and ownership for the streets. 

“The Swap ” or  “The Swapping of Roads” better refers to the swap set up between Wayne Township and Passaic County, to trade a portion of Valley road which Wayne owns in exchange for Church Lane, owned by Passaic county. This plan has been years in the making as the different ownership of sections of Valley road got in the way of maintaining the full road, irritating the drivers and the citizens of Wayne. 

 According to TapIntoWayne,Valley Road in Wayne New Jersey is partly owned between Wayne Township and Passaic County each having their own various sections. This leaves the road being maintained very weirdly, as sections owned by the county are nicely paved and maintained but the section owned by the township always has potholes and various road damage. Even when there is snow, The county would only plow there two sections, lifting up their plows and not even touching the section owned by Wayne. This meant that when Valley was covered in snow, the county trucks plowed and salted Valley Road from French Hill Road to Ratzer Road, then lifted their plows until they got to Hamburg Turnpike, then plowed until Valley Road ended at Berdan Avenue. The same could be said for pothole maintenance and road resurfacing. This would leave the road being not so drivable as snow would cover a main portion of the road until Wayne got to it. Due to Wayne Township’s section being right in the middle of the vast road, owning only the road between Hamburg Turnpike and Ratzer, it proved to be a major inconvenience due to many complaints and the Township board seeing that a swap would be a good idea. With Valley Road being one of the semi-main roads for Wayne NJ the importance of keeping it maintained, fueled the fire for the swap. 

 The section of Valley Road owned by Wayne was known for its pot holes and low maintenance, sparking annoyance from people who lived in Wayne and for anyone who had to endure the torturers section. When asking fellow classmate Shashank Venkatesh, a frequent driver of Valley road about his experience on the section owned by Wayne, he replied “I have always been annoyed with the amount of pot holes and damage the road has as its annoying to drive on. I’m always worried that i’m going to damage my car or a rim when not driving carefully on that section. I have always wondered why that part of the road was always so bad.” 

The reason for the division of Valley Road was thought to be caused by when the apartments were built alongside Wayne’s Portion. This is due to the county’s ownership of Church Lane just up the street.

Now with the swap being in place, Passaic County officially owns all of Valley road, as for now the county has full responsibility for maintaining it. This would then put Wayne township in charge of church lane which in the words of Wayne Township Attorney Matt Giacobbe said, “Just makes it easier.” At a town meeting questions about how much the swap could have cost were asked, only to be followed up with the swap being a fair trade.

Hopefully now with the switch of ownership, maintenance and quality of Valley road will improve as now its County owned. The swap has been now in affect, sparking the question of, “Do you see a difference?”