Building New Bridges

After a terrible storm destroyed property, blocked access to public roads to homeowners and even forced people out of their homes, the people of Mill Rd in Flanders, NJ were beginning to think life would never be the same. With the help of R & R Construction, a new bridge was built and the surrounding area restored. Below are the memories of this event told by one of the affected homeowners in thanks for their hard work in restoring the Mill Road bridge.

“We first fell in love with our house at 4 Mill Rd, Flanders New Jersey on a snowy January day in 1985. We knew that our sons: Jacob and Chad, would enjoy growing up here with the mountain, woods, and river to play by and with all that mother nature has to offer including a multitude of animals that would visit us.

Springtime brought many anticipated blossoms and blooms. Animals would frolick amongst the variety of plants. Situated along the south brand of the Raritan River, our property has had to endure droughts, floods, and Mother Nature’s wrath.  At times it appears to be a babbling brook, serene river gently flowing…and other times an unbelievable rushing torrent of powerful strength.

On September 28th, 2011, we experienced the worst flooding this area has ever had. That morning when Phill left for work, it was raising. At 8:30 AM, Meg woke up to see the entire property covered with rushing waters. They called it the 1000 Year Storm. Linda’s property at 2 Mill Rd also suffered an enormous amount of damage. Though their property was left unharmed, the Ulbrich family had to endure the hardships of not having access to their home. Clause, Mary-Giselle, their nanny, Joe, George, and Matthew all pitched in with a lot of much-appreciated help, humor, and stamina!

The destruction left by the storm was devastating. Mill Rd was wiped out along with 27 years of hard work and beautiful landscaping. The bridge leading to our houses was gone, asphalt was ripped out and floating away like big black rafts leaving the road unpassable. The pool was filled with river water and debris, the shed shifted several feet.

As quickly as the river rose, it also receded, leaving a path of despair and obstacles. Life continued. Kids still needed to get to school, adults still needed to get to work, doctors appointments, even surgery couldn’t be postponed. In order to gain access to “The outside world’, makeshift bridges were built by Clause, Phil, and friends, humbling us in the process. Everything we needed had to be carried in over the bridges: Oil, gas, groceries, Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas and birthday presents, etc.

Finally permits were in place. R & R Construction Co., Inc. was hired to do the job. In the dead of winter, through snow sleet rain and wind, the construction of the bridge began. The project was completed at the end of spring 2012 thanks to the hard work and dedication of the construction crew from R & R.

It certainly has been a long road back to reclaiming the place we call home. Though the pool and damages are yet to be dealt with, the gardens surrounding it have grown back. Very few plants were actually lost here, and we gained some that we didn’t even plan!

Fresh coats of paints, lots of wheelbarrows full of sand and debris, removal of large sheets of asphalt and many walks downriver in search of lost possessions, we continue to rebuild.

Through the help and support of family, friends, and each other, we can see the beauty that surrounds us once again! We will be forever grateful and appreciative for all those that contributed to the rebuilding of Mill Rd. THANK YOU!


Flanders, NJ






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