FAIRFIELD, NJ — Construction to replace the 79-year-old New Dutch Lane Bridge that crosses over the Deepavaal Brook in Fairfield is set to begin on July 22 and is expected to last approximately five months, according to Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

DiVincenzo joined with elected officials on Tuesday to announce the project, which will cause traffic to be detoured around the area for the duration of the work period via Passaic Avenue and Fairfield Road.

He said that the county is pleased to partner with Fairfield Mayor James Gasparini to address the township’s concerns about infrastructure, adding that the replacement of the bridge “is necessary to provide continued access for commercial properties in the area."

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"The upgrades are part of my administration's ongoing initiative to modernize our roadway infrastructure, enhance motor vehicle and pedestrian safety, and meet the changing needs of motorists,” said DiVincenzo. "There is never a good time to conduct construction projects such as this. Working with the contractor, we hope to minimize the disruption to our residents and businesses and reopen the bridge as quickly as possible.”

Although New Dutch Lane will be closed in the area around the bridge, access to Kaplan Drive, Eldridge Road and all businesses will not be interrupted, according to the county. A temporary walking bridge will be constructed to allow for pedestrian access to continue.

The existing bridge will be completely removed and replaced with a modern, single-span structure that will be made of pre-cast concrete and steel piles. It will have two travel lanes (one in either direction), a shoulder and parapet on both sides. The bridge will be about 40 feet long and 43.5 feet wide.

Built in 1940, the original structure is constructed of reinforced concrete and timber. The latest bridge inspection report describes the New Dutch Lane Bridge as being in poor condition and identifies it as "structurally deficient."

PKB Engineering from Secaucus received a professional services contract for $256,938 to design the new bridge; Pillari Brothers Construction Corp. from Farmingdale was awarded a publicly bid contract for $1,962,858 to perform the construction work; and Mott MacDonald from Iselin was awarded a contract for $199,904 to provide construction inspection services.

The Essex County Department of Public Works will monitor the project to ensure delays are avoided. Funding is being provided through grants from the New Jersey Department of Transportation's Local Bridges Future Needs Program and Annual Transportation Program (ATP 2018).

Other projects in Fairfield completed by have included repaving Horseneck Road from Plymouth Street to Fairfield Road in 2016, Fairfield Road from Route 46 to Passaic Avenue in 2015 and Hollywood Avenue from Fairfield Road to Horseneck Road in 2012 and desnagging the Passaic River in 2008.

In 2019, Essex County repaved Plymouth Street from Horseneck Road to Route 46 as part of the county’s Roadway Resurfacing Program, an annual paving contract that is part of the DiVincenzo Administration’s initiative to enhance safety on the roads and the quality of life by modernizing infrastructure.

Other county roads being paved as part of the 2019 plans include Two Bridges Road from Route 46 to the Morris County line in Fairfield as well as Bloomfield Avenue from Passaic Avenue to the Morris County line in West Caldwell.

“Essex residents and motorists rely on our intricate network of roads to get to work, go to school and carry out their daily errands,” said DiVincenzo. “My administration is committed to making sure our infrastructure is in the most modern condition so that our daily lives are not interrupted. We apologize for any inconvenience the construction may cause, but the end result will improve our quality of life by making it easier and safer to travel through Essex County.”

Smith Sondy Asphalt Construction Co. of Wallington was awarded a publicly bid contract for about $9 million perform the construction work, which is being supervised by the Essex County Department of Public Works. The resurfacing is being funded with a grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

The project includes milling the old surface off the road, repairing broken curbing, improving handicapped ramps and crosswalk areas at intersections, laying new pavement and painting striping on the new surface.

A list of all county roads included in the project is below: 

  • Old Short Hills Road from Northfield Avenue in Livingston to Parsonage Hill Road in Millburn
  • Watchung Avenue from Upper Mountain Avenue in Montclair to East Passaic Avenue in Bloomfield
  • Parsonage Hill Road from White Oak Ridge Road to Old Short Hills Road in Millburn
  • Broad Street from Bellevue Avenue to the Passaic County line, Bloomfield
  • Two Bridges Road from Route 46 to the Morris County line, Fairfield
  • Bloomfield Avenue from Passaic Avenue to the Morris County line, West Caldwell
  • Scotland Road from South Orange Avenue to Randolph Place, South Orange
  • South Orange Avenue from Walnut Street to the Morris County line, Livingston
  • Springfield Avenue from South 20th Street to West Market Street, Newark
  • Plymouth Street from Horseneck Road to Route 46, Fairfield
  • River Road from East White Terrace to Park Avenue, Nutley
  • Park Avenue from Washington Avenue to River Road, Nutley
  • Laurel Avenue from Eagle Rock Avenue in West Orange to Shrewsbury in Livingston
  • Bradford Avenue from Grove Avenue to Woodstone Avenue in Cedar Grove

Photo caption: 

With the County Executive (center) at the bridge are (from left) Andrew Gennaro from Mott MacDonald, Bill Clark and John Paul from PKB Engineering, Gerard Kroner from Mott MacDonald, Essex County Assistant Engineer Michelle Babula, Essex County Public Works Director and County Engineer Sanjeev Varghese, Freeholder Len Luciano, Drew illyes from Essex County Public Works Department, Chief of Staff Phil Alagia and Jeff Faiella from Pillari Brothers.