MILLBURN, NJ – Downtown Millburn is only days away from beginning the first phase of construction of the Complete Streets initiative.  The enhancements to the thoroughfares are intended to improve pedestrian walkways, optimize traffic flow, increase safety, boost economic vitality and create a more attractive downtown.

According to the township website, construction is set to begin on or about this Wednesday, July 13.  Area businesses were informed that construction on Main Street between Millburn Avenue and Essex Street would take about a month to complete and will be closed to all vehicular traffic. Upon completion, construction of another section of the downtown will begin.

Ying Li, owner of Soothing Zen Day Spa, was initially concerned about how the construction would impact her business.  Her spa is located in the midst of the construction in this phase.

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“As a new business here in downtown Millburn I was initially worried that my customers would not have any access to our spa since we are right in the middle of the construction zone,” said Li.  “But since the sidewalks will still be available and there is ample parking in the municipal lot next to us, I’m not that worried.  I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements.”

The project will be executed in three phases:

Phase I will begin this summer when traffic flow is at its lowest by renovating the majority of the western section of Millburn Avenue and as well as Main Street. As traffic flow increases in the fall, a new road adjacent to Town Hall will be built.  This phase will be completed by November 2016.

Phase II will start in the spring of 2017 and include construction on Millburn Avenue eastward, starting with Essex St., Lackawana and Holmes streets.  Then in the summer, all of Millburn Avenue will be complete. 

Phase III is intended to complete Essex St. in the vicinity of the police department. 

In addition to the Complete Streets construction, various construction projects will be occurring throughout the Township:

July

•Great Hills Road – Road improvements including milling, paving and installing ADA compliance ramps between Tall Pine Lane and Wildwood Drive. Improvements will result in road closures over the course of a few days. Installation of ramps will require partial road closures. Residents in the area will be notified by the contractor before the start of construction.

•Short Hills Train Station Lot 3 (Chatham Road) – Milling, paving, resurfacing and installation of perimeter curbing. Project will result in three (3) days of complete lot closure. Commuters will have to park in Lots 7 and 8 and the Parking Deck during this time. The construction job was awarded to Stanziale Construction.

•Papermill Playhouse – Parking lot improvements and resurfacing. Construction will result in possible road closure of Brookside Drive with access being limited to Papermill Playhouse employees only.

August

•Whittingham Terrace – Road Improvements including milling and paving, curb replacement, barrier free ramps, drainage and resurfacing. Bids are being received July 6th with the possibility of awarding the bid on July 19th. The project area is from Millburn Avenue to Ridgewood Road. Residents affected by construction will be notified by the contractor. Construction should conclude in September.