UNION, NJ – A groundbreaking ceremony took place Monday morning for Phase II of the Stuyvesant Avenue Streetscape Project which is set to begin soon.

“Phase I is complete and everyone loves it,” said Deputy Mayor Joseph Florio.  Florio said construction on the south end of Stuyvesant Avenue, from Morris Ave. to the cannon turnaround near Elmwood, should be complete by September.  “We’ll be ready for the future development, with new stores and new buildings in the Center.”

“Build it and they will come,” said Township Committeeman Manuel Figueiredo.  “We are already beginning to see an increase in our foot traffic due to some of the mixed development we already have up and we look forward to having more mixed use of this area to bring foot traffic, energy and vitality to our Center.”

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Figueiredo said stores will be opened during the construction.  “Continue to frequent your favorite stores in the Center.”

A meeting with Union Center business owners was held in early April to review the streetscape plans and hear about the project’s phase-in schedule and parking with minimal impact to the merchants and customers.

At that meeting, Joe Leo, President of the SID, said, “we hope this investment will enhance the aesthetic appearance of the Center, improve safety for the residents and provide more foot traffic to the Center.”

Phase II of the project is identical to Phase I, which ran from Vauxhall Road to Morris Avenue and was completed in the fall, except there will not be a raised road area and no mid-block crossing.  As a result, there will be no need to shut down the road during construction.  The plan is to use the same design, with identical bike racks, seating and landscaping.  The design will incorporate the granite bands with historical references to the town, as were used in Phase I.

Contractors will work on a few hundred feet at a time to limit disturbances.  Work is scheduled to take 3-4 months.