MAPLEWOOD, NJ - An extensive roadway construction project is underway in Maplewood Village, with repairs and improvements being made to sidewalks and roads.
According to an update from the Township of Maplewood, the milling stage has been completed, and Maplewood Avenue will be closed to vehicles for paving and striping on Wednesday, Nov. 14. The paving is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and according to the update, "Maplewood Avenue will be closed in sections starting at Durand Road," and each section should be reopened within 2 hours after paving is completed.
"Previously designated temporary loading areas, parking lots and access behind Clarus will remain open during this time," according to the update.
The update from the Township also urged people to "please adhere to all parking restrictions and traffic diversions" and for all "drivers and patrons [to] exercise caution when visiting the Village while Improvements are being completed."
A previous update regarding the construction project stated that "all walkways will remain open for pedestrian traffic" while the paving is being completed, and also stated that the paving will be completed in two stages with part of Maplewood Avenue being re-opened when each stage is completed.
The construction is scheduled to end by this Friday, Nov. 16, and all construction material will be cleaned-up at that time, according to the update from the Township.
While Maplewood officials have stressed the importance of undertaking the construction project, one merchant expressed concern about the impact of the ongoing construction on her businesses.
Marichelle Hills, Owner of MEUS on Baker Street, stated by email that "the road work/sidewalk construction has so badly affected all of our businesses." Hills emphasized that "despite the road work and closings, the town is OPEN and supporting our small businesses and shopping/eating local is more important than ever!"
Deb Yohannan, Executive Director of the Maplewood Village Alliance, acknowledged that while construction has caused some difficulties, she thinks everyone will be pleased with the results.
"While the construction has definitely caused some inconvenience for merchants and residents, I hope everyone can keep their eye on the prize which is a safer, cleaner, and more beautiful and inviting Village," stated Yohannan. "The infrastructure really needed these improvements and in the end it will be 100% better for all. It's sort of like when you renovate your kitchen; it's stressful and inconvenient but in the end, you're thrilled with the end product and barely remember the pain of going through it."
Yohannan also stated that the construction will not interrupt shopping and dining in Maplewood Village, and encouraged all to "keep shopping and dining locally and don't let a little construction scare you."
The Township also thanked "residents and merchants for their patience during this time" in the construction update.
An update on the Maplewood Village Alliance Facebook page stated that the annual holiday kick-off event, Girls Night Out, would be postponed from this Thursday, Nov. 15, to Thursday, Nov. 29, due to the construction.