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Jessica Marrone Parkes and Jackie Schatell

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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The Secret Life of a Special Needs Mom

May 2, 2015

As we mark the end of Autism Awareness month, I would like to share the challenges that we, as parents, confront each day as we try to give our kids a better quality of life. As a newly-minted spec...

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Today's Events

Press Releases

TAPinto.net Breaks 3.6M Annual Readers; Readership Up Over 75% Year-Over-Year

May 1, 2015

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto.net, the network of more than thirty all-online local newspapers, had more than 3.6M absolute unique users visit the site between May 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015, an inc...

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Columns

West Orange Public Schools

Bowling for Betty Maddalena Scholarship Fundraiser Raises $3,000

​WEST ORANGE, NJ - On April 25, friends and colleagues turned out at Eagle Rock Bowling Lanes to raise funds for the Betty Maddalena Scholarship Fund for Special Needs students in the Wes...

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Golda Och Academy Corner

Golda Och Academy Names Christine Stodolski Upper School Principal

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Golda Och Academy has announced the appointment of Christine Stodolski as Upper School Principal. Stodolski will officially join the school on July 1, at which time current Ass...

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Guest Column

Crowds Gather In Washington D.C. for Marriage Equality Debate

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two Roselle Park residents, the former Mayor Joe DeIorio and his husband Thos Shipley, made the trip to Washington to cover the awaited Supreme Court verdict on same-sex marriage...

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Jordan Baris Inc. Realtors

Jordan Baris Inc. Helps People Find Homes Anywhere

Dear Friends: Last week, my family and I visited Charlotte, North Carolina. The purpose of the trip was to watch our daughter participate in the national swim invitational. Needless to say, the ...

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Doctors Express Urgent Care Center of West Orange

AFC/Doctors Express – West Orange—Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Home

Spring has arrived, and it’s time for a little spring cleaning. A clean home is one way to embrace the season and focus on your health at the same time. It’s easy to blame spring p...

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Discount Travel News

4 Bedroom Suite during Ski Season in Colorado. $398/wk

Pagosa Springs packs a dynamite ski trip into a small quaint town surrounded by three million acres of wilderness and national forest, and… Our travel club members get to enjoy its perks ...

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South Orange Avenue Two-Year Roadway Construction Begins

By CYNTHIA CUMMING

April 15, 2014 at 8:52 PM

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo announced plans on April 14 for the $30 million reconstruction of South Orange Avenue along the two-mile stretch that passes through South Mountain Reservation.

The South Orange Avenue Safety Improvement Project is the largest in Essex County in over thirty years. Curves along the road will be flattened, storm drainage will be upgraded, and vehicle safety improved, according to contemporary traffic design standards.

The program, expected to last two years, is federally funded through a transportation grant. Work has already begun in the area. One lane will be closed in both directions, though closures are not expected.  

“The public relies on our network of County roads to travel to work, school and conduct their daily lives, and South Orange Avenue is a major east-west thoroughfare. While stretches of road through Essex County South Mountain Reservation offers some picturesque views, the sharp turns and lack of shoulders on the side of the road create hazardous driving conditions and are prone to flooding,” said DiVincenzo.

He continued, “The Federal Highway Administration identified this section of South Orange Avenue as being dangerous over a decade ago and we are pleased that federal money was made available to make these improvements."

According to the County Executive's office, The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) determined that the "1.6-mile section of South Orange Avenue between the intersection of Brookside Drive/Cherry Lane in Millburn to the intersection with Harding Drive in South Orange as being deficient as many as 10 years ago. The road in that area floods regularly and, as a result, is usually closed to traffic during inclement weather. In addition, the sharp curves in the road and the lack of a shoulder result in limited sight lines, and make entering and exiting existing turnoff areas very difficult and dangerous."

In addition to the improved access to South Mountain Reservation, the South Orange Avenue Safety Improvements Project will address the following issues:

The roadway will be re-aligned to reduce sharp curves;

The roadway will be widened to create a shoulder in the eastbound direction;

Ttraffic signal equipment at the Brookside Drive/Cherry Lane in Millburn and Glenview Road in South Orange will be updated;

"Retention swales" will be constructed roadside to tackle flooding and water runoff from the road into the reservation;

Guide rails (aka Guard rails), along with additional lighting (traditional "cobra head" overhead lights and decorative gas lamps) will be installed to address safety issues;

A new pedestrian bridge over South Orange Avenue near the Girl Scout Camp will be built and an existing pedestrian and horse bridge will be reconstructed and designed with stone facing;

Turnoff lanes and parking areas will be renovated to improve visibility and improve entrances and exits.

In addition, the County plans to plant 3,600 trees and enhance landscaping. This will address the loss of 430 trees during the project. The County will also replant areas in the reservation affected by Hurricane Sandy.

“My administration has focused our attention on preserving and expanding our open space inventory throughout Essex County," said DiVincenzo.

"While the roadway construction will have an environmental impact, we are mitigating this by planting thousands of new trees, addressing water run off by improving road drainage and accelerating regrowth of areas damaged by Superstorm Sandy with new landscape and plantings.” 

The consulting engineer firm of French and Parrello Associates of Wall, NJ, received a $1.6 million contract to design the roadway improvement plans. New Prince Concrete Construction from Hackensack was awarded the publicly bid contract for $25,915,389.50 to perform construction, which will be monitored by The Essex County Public Works Department.