Our report, “The Death of a Diner,” which detailed how a state Department of Transportation project on Route 46 has severely — and, almost certainly, permanently — hampered the business of Six Brothers Diner has drawn a number of responses from readers.
The Department of Transportation responded, as well.
Steve Schapiro, director of communications at the DOT, sent the following response to the situation:
“NJDOT has been working with the property owner regarding this project for many years. It should be noted the property owner leases the diner to a tenant who operates the business, but the diner operator is not the property owner. Throughout the project, both the property owner and tenant have been kept informed of construction activity.
“The property owner has always known about the location of the new Clove Road overpass and that the driveway from Clove Road would be eliminated. To mitigate that loss, the Department is building a pedestrian walkway along Clove Road from the college (Montclair State University) and train station.
“In addition, part of the mitigation for the property owner included NJDOT acquiring the former gas station in front of the diner to replace lost parking spaces and moving the diner’s driveway on Route 46 further east to a mutually agreed location for safety.”
In full transparency, the statement was sent to ROI-NJ on Wednesday afternoon — but was not seen until Thursday, after the story went out in our AM Update.
The statement is now included in the digital version of this story.
The story appeared in our March 4 print edition without comment from the state. Most readers received that edition Monday, but some received it last Friday in Washington, D.C., as part of our Walk to Washington coverage.
ROI-NJ has been seeking comment from the state for more than a week.