NUTLEY, NJ - The Centre St bridge over the Third River is closed to vehicular traffic to replace the 122 year-old bridge with a new structure. Motorists will will be detoured around the area via Joralemon Street and Vreeland Avenue. Due to weight restrictions on Nutley's other bridges over the Third River, vehicles over four tons will not restricted from crossing them. 

Earlier this month, the township imposed a four ton weight limit on Chestnut Street from Franklin Avenue to Passaic Avenue; Vreeland Avenue from Franklin Avenue to Passaic Avenue; Evelyn Place from Park Drive to Passaic Avenue; and Harrison Street from Franklin Avenue to Passaic Avenue. The Department of Public of Works installed will put signs reading “No Trucks Over 4 Tons” and “No Left/Right Turns for Trucks Over 4 Tons” There will be a fine of $100 or imprisonment of 10 days or both for violators.

"Replacing the Centre Street Bridge is a complex project because it's located in the heart of Downtown Nutley and provides critical access through the township. Closing the road will be disruptive, but it will enable the work to progress more quickly than if the replacement was done in stages. We understand the hardship being placed on residents and businesses and believe this will minimize the impact," Essex County Joseph N. DiVincenzo said.

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"Our residents' number one concern is public safety and providing modern streets, bridges and infrastructure is important to fulfilling that need," Freeholder Len Luciano said.

"We have had a lot of discussions about this bridge because we are concerned about the impact it will have on our downtown when it is closed, we are concerned about the detour and we are concerned about maintaining the historical character of the bridge structure. The County Executive has a great track record of getting projects done, and we are looking forward to seeing this reopened on time," Nutley Mayor Joseph Scarpelli said.

The posted detour around the Centre Street Bridge was developed in cooperation with the Nutley Police Department. The "local detour route" will take motor vehicles north along Franklin Avenue, turning onto Vreeland Avenue and then turning onto Passaic Avenue. The "truck detour route" is south along Franklin Avenue, turning onto Joralemon Street and then turning onto Union Avenue.

The Centre Street Bridge has been classified as "structurally deficient" and a weight limit of 15 tons was recently posted because of its deteriorating condition. The original single span brick arch with ashlar spandrel walls and abutments was built about 1896. Reinforced concrete wingwalls were added to the structure in 1929 and the current concrete parapet and gabion wall were installed in 1965 after the north spandrel wall and parapet failed.

The new structure will be constructed of a precast concrete arch with precast concrete wingwalls that will be supported by cast-in-place concrete footings and pedestals. There will be two travel lanes - one in either direction - for motor vehicles and sidewalks for pedestrians. The dimensions will be virtually identical to the original structure: a clear span length of 42 feet, a roadway width of approximately 46 feet, and a total bridge width of 66 feet.

To maintain the historic character and existing setting in Essex County Yanticaw Park and Nutley Booth Park, the concrete color for the new bridge was set by the NJ Historic Preservation Office. A stone formliner will be used to construct the arch spandrel walls and the parapet walls, the existing ornamental fence will be removed and reset, and an interpretive sign will be installed to inform residents and visitors of the history of the crossing and the Yanticaw-Booth Historic District. In addition, 48 new trees will be planted in the adjacent parkland.

KS Engineers from Newark was awarded a professional services contract for $242,425 to design the project. Pillari Brothers Construction Corp. from Farmingdale, N.J., was awarded a publicly bid contract for $2,879,230 to perform the construction work. The Essex County Department of Public Works will monitor the project to ensure delays are avoided. The bridge replacement is being funded with a grant from the NJ Department of Transportation's Local Bridges Future Needs Grant Program.

The Centre St bridge project is scheduled to be completed by December 2018. is a member of the New Jersey Press Association, and is the only locally owned news organization serving the community. Sign up for our FREE daily eNews. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @TAPintoNutley  and Instagram @TAPintoNutley

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