ELIZABETH, NJ – A total of 44 bridges are set to be repaired in Union County.

If approved by the freeholder board, the county will hire T.R. Weniger Inc., of Piscataway, to repair all bridges that are part of the 2018 Bridge Improvement Program. Bridges in the program were chosen based on state criteria.

“The state comes out every couple of years, does an inspection on all of our bridges, and comes back with different categories of major or minor repairs,” said Department of Engineering Director Joseph Graziano. “There’s a bunch in every town.”

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These categories, Graziano said, include minor repairs such as cracked sidewalks, major repairs such as pipe problems or cracks in the concrete structure, or structural deficiencies that require the bridge to be replaced.

“Those are being handled,” Graziano said of structurally deficient bridges within the county. Graziano identified two bridges, one in Berkeley Heights and one near the Watchung Reservation, which will be replaced this summer.

Helping the Homeless

The county is poised to receive additional funds for the SuperNOFA Continuum of Care (CoC), which aims to assist the county’s homeless population. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which awards competitive grants.

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“This is for the homeless population: supportive housing, permanent housing, transitional benefits,” said Debbie-Ann Anderson, the county's director of human services.

The freeholder board originally approved a $4.2 million award from HUD for this program in May, Anderson said at Thursday night’s meeting, where she asked the board to approve an additional $150,000 award for administrative services.

Clerk’s Office Renovations

The County Clerk’s office will undergo renovations to better utilize space, County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi said at Thursday night’s meeting.

The county’s passport and election rooms will be expanded, Rajoppi said, and the records room will be downsized to make room for this. Rajoppi explained that all county records dated prior to the 1980s are housed in the records room in paper form and that these will need to be reorganized to make room for the expansion.

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Musial Group of Mountainside will complete the renovations. Rajoppi has asked the freeholder board to approve a $29,000 in additional funding beyond what has already been approved, bringing the total to $273,985 for the project.

Upcoming Auction

If approved by the freeholder board, the county will hold a public auction for various surplus goods that are no longer in use. Seventy-five items are expected to be auctioned, including trucks, passenger vans, sedans, rotary motors, loader bucket and snow plow parts, Department of Administrative Services Director Laura Scutari said during the meeting.

What’s Next?

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders will meet on Thursday, June 20, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at 10 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth, NJ. The board is expected to vote on these and other agenda items.