HACKENSACK, NJ -- Bergen County expects to begin work within the next few days on roadway and pedestrian safety improvements to Washington Avenue in the Borough of Carlstadt.

On February 22, County officials awarded a contract to New Prince Concrete Construction Company to perform the work.  The project, which will be funded through a grant from the federal government, will improve Washington Avenue from the northern border of Carlstadt at Moonachie Avenue, south to Route 120/Paterson Plank Road. 

As part of the project, the County will construct a new traffic signal near the Valero Station, a few hundred feet north of Paterson Plank Road.  Certain bus stops will be relocated and include bus shelters, and Jersey barriers in the center of the roadway will be extended to help improve road safety.  Sidewalks will also be extended and improved, and the entire roadway will be milled, resurfaced, and restriped. The County expects the road to remain open throughout the construction.

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Additionally, the County will install a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon, also known as a HAWK signal, just north of the Barrell Avenue intersection.  One of the first to be installed in Bergen County, HAWK signals are shown to reduce vehicle and pedestrian crashes by 69%, as motorists comply with them at significantly higher rates than other forms of pedestrian crossings according to the Federal Highway Administration.  A HAWK signal consists of a flashing yellow light which will turn solid yellow when a pedestrian activates the beacon, followed by two red lights that illuminate to indicate to motorists to stop for the crossing.

“We are excited to finally begin this project in Carlstadt,” said Freeholder Vice Chairwoman Germaine Ortiz, who chairs the Freeholder public works committee. “We’d also like to thank the numerous property owners along the corridor who provided easements that allowed these sidewalks and safety improvements to be performed.  We appreciate the cooperation and patience of everyone who uses this road as we work with both the State and Carlstadt to make Washington Avenue safer.”

“Bergen County is always looking for ways to help municipalities improve their infrastructure for the benefit of public safety,” said County Executive Tedesco.  “HAWK signals have increased pedestrian safety by leaps and bounds since they made their first appearance in Arizona in 2000.  By installing a protected pedestrian crossing at Washington Avenue, we help protect pedestrians and motorists.”