CLARK, NJ – Clark police suggest that entirely avoiding the intersection of Westfield Avenue and Terminal Avenue may be a motorist’s best bet for the next two months. An extensive project designed to realign the offset intersection and reduce traffic congestion begins Monday, March 7 at 7:30 a.m. the Clark Township Police Department announced this week.
Phase one of the project at this heavily-traveled intersection near the Woodcrest at Clark complex is the installation of new curbing and road widening, according to Lt. Michael Pollock of the Clark Police Department. At the outset, the roadway will not be closed during the Monday through Friday work period.
“They will be working in areas that are not currently roadway. They will be in what is now mostly grassy areas,” Pollock explained. “There will be lots of slow-downs in traffic but no closures. But there will be heavy delays, especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours.”
Freight trains that cross Westfield Avenue will continue to run on their normal schedule, Pollock said, contributing to the overall traffic slow-down through the area.
The project creates a dedicated right-turn lane from Terminal Avenue onto Westfield Avenue, and a dedicated right-turn lane from Westfield Avenue onto Terminal Avenue on the Retro Fitness corner, Pollock said.
Although north- and south-bound Westfield Avenue is expected to remain open during the entire project, Terminal Avenue will close during phase two.
“The second phase of the project is a new traffic light system,” Pollock said. “Once the first traffic light is being dismantled, the road has to be closed. We tried to think of many other ways to do this, believe me, but closing the intersection is the safest for everyone. It is actually going to speed up the work too. Closing the road to traffic will make the work go faster.”
With Terminal Avenue closed, traffic heading southbound out of Westfield and Scotch Plains will be unable to turn left to reach Central Avenue and the Garden State Parkway.
“If you know an alternate route in and around the area, we suggest you use it,” Pollock said.
The alternate routes are Lake Avenue to Raritan Road for traffic northwest of the construction zone, and Central Avenue for those traveling out of Westfield.
Pollock did not have an exact date for the Terminal Avenue closure.
Access to the Woodcrest at Clark senior citizen housing complex will remain open at all times, although a stop sign will be in place while the traffic signals are replaced, Pollock said.
“Traffic officers will be on site during the construction and will assist in directing traffic and to help those who need directions,” Pollock said. Signage is already in place in anticipation of the Monday start date.