A sidewalk restoration and street paving project on Lafayette Avenue in Chatham Township is essentially complete, meaning it will be fully functional when the school year starts Sept. 7.
The project needed to be done during the summer, since it would have been nearly impossible to do the construction with Chatham High School and Lafayette Elementary School open.
It involved revamping the sidewalks along the road and repaving the road from Shunpike Road to Southern Boulevard. That area of the thoroughfare is in the township.
The project's plans had originally involved removing 28 trees from the area to allow the new sidewalk to be placed there. But that number was eventually reduced to 15, and Deputy Mayor Kevin Tubbs said that aspect of the proposal went through as planned.
"The ones that were planning on being removed were being removed," Tubbs said.
Neighbors in the area had at first objected to the number of trees being taken down but relented when the township revised its plan.
Three trees were taken down near 142 Lafayette Ave., and others were taken out near 316, 320 and 358 Lafayette Ave.
Three to four of those 15 trees will be replaced, but Tubbs said that has not been done yet, since it is not always best protocol to do so during the summer.
The township used a state Department of Transportation grant to pay for the project. The grant also allowed the road itself to be repaved.