MILLBURN, NJ – Reconstruction of two bridges on Parsonage Hill Road over JFK Parkway and Canoe Brook are now complete. Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr., Millburn Mayor Sandra Haimoff, and other officials cut the ribbon over the bridges this morning.

The $1.6 million project is part of the ongoing initiative to modernize infrastructure and enhance safety on county roads for motorists and pedestrians, according to DiVincenzo.

“The public relies on our county roads and bridges as avenues to travel to work, transport their children to school and conduct errands,” DiVincenzo said. “Making sure our infrastructure meets the changing and increasing needs of residents and provides a safe environment for motorists and pedestrians is a priority.”

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Haimoff said she’s pleased with the project for the very reasons DiVincenzo gave.

“Now I can get home in a few minutes, instead of 30,” she said.

DiVincenzo was joined by Bo Porter, who grew up in Newark. Recently named the manager for the Houston Astros, Porter has said he is committed to not only reviving baseball in Newark, but improvements to Essex County in general.

Porter, who attended the event with his wife, Stacey, thanked everyone for their involvement with the bridge improvement project.

“I am going to be committed to doing all I can to helping Essex County,” said the Weequahic High School graduate, before hugging Haimoff, also an alumnus.

“This was a very complex project because it involved rebuilding two bridges at the same time and detouring traffic for nine months,” DiVincenzo said. “We thank the Township of Millburn for their assistance on the project and the public for their patience and understanding.”

Both bridges were in poor condition and needed to be replaced, DiVincenzo said. The existing superstructure elements were demolished and replaced with new reinforced prestressed concrete void beams with a reinforced concrete deck that meets current design standards. Construction on both bridges was performed simultaneously with traffic only allowed in the westbound direction. Eastbound traffic was detoured. The project began in April.

Essex County completed a $1.7 million project to replace the Millburn Avenue Bridge in downtown Millburn in 2011. It was funded with a grant from the NJ Department of Transportation.