PATERSON, NJ – Motorists beware: the sewer construction work on Spruce Street that has created rush-hour gridlock is going to take longer
than officials originally expected.
The work, which prevents traffic from flowing between Spruce Street and the Wayne Avenue bridge was supposed to be done by last Friday. But officials say complications that arose during construction have delayed the completion, which is now targeted for February 21.
The sewer project has not only clogged clogged streets near the bridge with traffic, but also has jammed detour routes, including Grand and Main streets.
“The disruption caused by this project is enormous and has impacted the entire area and we need it to be finished as soon as possible,” said Robert Guarasci, executive director of the New Jersey Community Development Corporation, which is located less than 100 yards from the work.
“It’s created nothing but chaos,’’ said 2nd Ward Councilman Aslon Goow.
Council President Anthony Davis, who represnts the 1st Ward,, said he has gotten numerous complaints from residents. But he doesn’t need them to tell them about the situation. Davis said traffic from the construction has stretched his normal five-minute commute into a half-hour.
The project involves the repair of a 36-inch sanitary sewer line that serves Paterson and a sanitary sewer line that serves Woodland Park. The damage to the line was detected in the aftermath of last summer’s historic floods.

Officials say the work has taken longer than expected because of several factors:
·         the unusual depth of the sewer line. It is 20 feet below the surface.
·         problems with soil in area. The soil below Spruce Street is mostly composed of old fill from the excavation of the raceways in the area, officials said.
·         the proximity of utility lines. In 1952, utility crews installed equipment about four feet from the sewer line. During the current sewer project, Public Service Electric and Gas has had to repair its equipment as well.
·         the construction techniques used in 1909 during the original sewer job. Concrete was poured over the sewer line in a trench as much as 10-feet wide.
After the work on Spruce Street is completed, the city still has to repair a sewer line in a vacant lot south of the raceway on McBride Avenue. During that job, Spruce Street will be unaffected and McBride Avenue will have two lanes open to traffic.