ESSEX COUNTY AREA, NJ – South Orange Avenue, between Cherry Lane/ Brookside Drive and Wyoming Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic from July 21-23 and July 28-30.

The closures are necessary so a new arch bridge can be installed over the roadway, according to Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. This is part of the ongoing $30 million federally-funded project to flatten the curves in the road, enhance motor vehicle safety and improve storm drainage. Funding for the project is being provided by a federal transportation grant.

“Closing South Orange Avenue will be an inconvenience for motorists traveling to work or school or going about their daily business,” he said. “However, it must be done to maximize safety for drivers, pedestrians and construction crews. We ask motorists to follow our detour, plan alternate routes and give themselves additional time to travel. We appreciate the public’s cooperation and look forward to a new and improved South Orange Avenue.”

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During the road closures, motor vehicles traveling eastbound on South Orange Avenue will be detoured north on Cherry Lane to east on Northfield Avenue to south on Wyoming Avenue, before returning to South Orange Avenue. Motor vehicles traveling westbound on South Orange Avenue will be detoured to Wyoming Avenue to Northfield Avenue to Cherry Lane. Only local traffic traveling westbound on South Orange Avenue will be allowed to bypass the detour.

Work to modernize the 1.6-mile stretch of South Orange Avenue started in April 2014 and is expected to continue through the spring of 2016, , according to DiVincenzo, Jr.  The project will address flooding, lessen the severity of the curves in the road, develop a shoulder for the eastbound lanes, improve sight lines and make entering and exiting existing turnoff areas safer, install roadway lighting and plant 3,600 new trees.

In addition, two bridges will be erected over the roadway, two intersections along South Orange Avenue (Glenview Road and Cherry Lane/Brookside Drive) will be upgraded and three culverts will be reconstructed.