WEST ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Avenue between Cherry Lane/Brookside Drive and Wyoming Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic from Thursday, November 6 at 7 a.m. to Friday, November 7 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, November 11 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. A pedestrian bridge is being installed over the roadway.
The ongoing $30 million federally-funded project to flatten the curves in the road, enhance motor vehicle safety and improve storm drainage is still underway.
“We acknowledge that closing South Orange Avenue will be an inconvenience for motorists traveling to work or school or going about their daily business," said Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo.
"However, it must be done to maximize safety for drivers, pedestrians and construction crews,” DiVincenzo pointed out. “We ask motorists to follow our detour, plan alternate routes and give themselves additional travel time. We appreciate the public’s cooperation and look forward to a new and improved South Orange Avenue,” he continued.
According to a press release from Essex County publicist Anthony Puglisi, "During the road closures, motor vehicles traveling eastbound on South Orange Avenue will be detoured north on Cherry Lane to east on Northfield Avenue to south on Wyoming Avenue before returning to South Orange Avenue. Motor vehicles traveling westbound on South Orange Avenue will be detoured to Wyoming Avenue to Northfield Avenue to Cherry Lane. Only local traffic traveling westbound on South Orange Avenue will be allowed to bypass the detour."
The road closure will allow construction crews to install a pre-cast footbridge over South Orange Avenue. The new structure will link the Girl Scout camp to a hiking path across the street in Essex County South Mountain Reservation.
Modernization of the 1.6-mile stretch of South Orange Avenue began in April and and are expected to last two more years. During construction, several issues will be addressed: flooding, the severity of the curves in the road, creation of a shoulder for the eastbound lanes, improved sight lines for turnoff entrances and exits; the installation of roadway lighting and the planting of 3,600 new trees.
Three bridges will be erected over the roadway. Funding for the project is being provided by a federal transportation grant.