South Orange Avenue Two-Year Roadway Construction Begins

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. (center),  displays an artist rendering depicting the area of improvement with L-R, Mike Piga, an engineer from French and Parrello; Essex County Deputy Chief William Payne; Lawrence French, Chairman Emeritus of French and Parrello; Mike Kataryniak, an engineer from French and Parrello; Freeholder Leonard Luciano; South Orange Trustees Howard Levinson and Walter Clark; Freeholder Vice-President Patricia Sebold; Essex County Public Works Director and County Engineer Sanjeev Varghese; Sheriff Armando Fontoura; Assemblyman Thomas Giblin and South Orange Village Trustee and Essex County Clerk to the Freeholder Board Deborah Davis Ford.  Credits: Glen Frieson
The project has begun. Credits: Joe DiVincenzo

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.  

Sign Up for E-News

“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.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Montclair Police Arrest Newark Man for Nearly Two-Dozen Vehicle-Related Crimes

July 19, 2017

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair Police have arrested and charged a 20-year-old Newark man with nearly two-dozen crimes related to motor vehicle theft and vehicle burglaries. 

Lt. David O'Dowd of the Montclair Police Department stated that on July 14 "officers were dispatched to a report of a subject looking into parked vehicles on Wildwood Avenue." 

He stated ...

"Shall We Begin?" Winter Comes to Westeros on Game of Thrones

Considering Game of Thrones fans waited 448 days for the premiere of the shortest season to date, many were disappointed by the anticlimactic nature of Sunday’s episode. But the way I see it, Ed Sheeran cameo aside, the show writers did everything right: enemies were destroyed, crucial information was revealed and the stage was set for absolute chaos in Westeros.

For the first time ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, August 10, 8:00 PM

Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center, West Orange

FREE Movie Night: Monster Trucks

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, August 12, 12:00 PM

Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center, West Orange

3rd Annual Househead Summerfest

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, August 13, 2:00 PM

Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center, West Orange

Gospel Summerfest

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Bipartisan or Bystander?

July 18, 2017

Bipartisan or Bystander?

Bipartisanship means active, often contentious, yet respectful  cooperation, (and ultimate compromise), between two political parties for the ultimate betterment of their constituents. It is creating productive discussion to achieve a synthesis of ideas. Thus, the welfare of the people always comes before party loyalty. 

It's also about speaking up.

REMINDER: July 31 School Board Candidacy Deadline Approaching

July 19, 2017

Citizens interested in running for local school board office must file nominating petitions with their county clerk by 4 p.m., Monday, July 31 for their names to appear on the November 7 General Election ballot.

Nominating petitions must be signed by at least 10 registered voters of the school district (or in the case of a regional school district, 10 registered voters of the constituent ...

Hanover Township to Welcome Wegmans on July 23

July 17, 2017

HANOVER TOWNSHIP, NJ - One of the largest shopping and dining experiences in the country is ready to open its doors to Morris County when Wegmans comes to Hanover Township on July 23

This is the ninth store to open in New Jersey, with 92 overall stores in six states. The origin of Wegmans dates back to 1916 when brothers Walter and John Wegman worked at their parents’ ...

Gone, But Not Forgotten

Recently my dad showed me a plaque he had been awarded from his alma mater.  He graduated from a well-respected University in the Midwest after WWII.  It was where he met my mom.  

 

He is 90 now.

 

The honorific award was for his participation in the University’s “Hall of Fame” football team of 1948, on which, as I had been informed many ...

'Skeleton Crew' hits home

UNION, NJ – Premiere Stages, in its quest for new, richly layered plays, is now presenting “Skeleton Crew” by Dominique Morrisseau.

The playwright had her play “Follow Me to Nellie’s” work shopped at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut several years ago. That was followed by s fine production at the Kean University ...