June 20, 2014 at 5:38 PM
MILLBURN, NJ – County and Township officials gathered on the Glen Avenue Bridge Friday morning to commemorate its reopening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The rehabilitation of the bridge was finished in only four months, when the project had been estimated at six months.
“We first tried to address this bridge about fifteen years ago,” said County Engineer Sanjeev Varghese.
“We worked with Jersey American Water Company who had to reroute the water main and the gas company who updated their systems. There was inconvenience for the neighbors, but we made it.”
“We’re glad it’s done,” said Mayor Robert Tillotson. “Speaking from experience, I live on the cut-through, Old Short Hills Road, and we’ve had traffic almost out to Parsonage Hill since February. Downtown’s been a nightmare. We recognized this needed to be done. We appreciate it being done in four months, we really do.”
County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo shared an anecdote. “I was right here stuck in traffic right near Paper Mill Playhouse,” he said. “There was a police officer and I asked him, ‘What’s going on?’ and he said, ‘The bridge is being done. They say it’s going to be six months, but I know the County. It’s going to be two years.’ He didn’t know who I was. I called Sajeev. Then going back the other direction, I saw the same cop, and told him we would be done by June 15, and it was.”
The bridge was originally constructed in 1908 and crosses the West Branch of the Rahway River, providing access to Millburn’s downtown district and the roads surrounding the South Mountain Reservation. The rehabilitation included "replacing the existing deteriorated deck, reconstructing the existing concrete abutment walls, replacing the guide rail and bridge railing system, and replacing the curbs and sidewalks on both sides of the bridge."
DiVincenzo said the next local project will be the repaving of Millburn Avenue near the High School, which will be done in August.