WESTFIELD, NJ — Underground construction on a minor bridge on Central Avenue near Clover Street in Westfield, which is over an underground stream, is expected to begin in summer 2016, Union County officials announced Friday.

Union County engineers hope to find a way to work on the 6-foot wide, 44-inch high corrugated concrete arch, which is accessible through a manhole, without interrupting traffic, according to County Engineer Tom Mineo.

In Union County, 470 bridges and culverts help keep the traffic flowing over railways, waterways and other obstacles, according to the county. Many of these were designed and constructed generations ago, when vehicular traffic was lighter and safety standards were not fully developed. Upgrades are prioritized in consultation with state and federal transportation agencies.

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“Union County is one of the most important transportation hubs on the eastern seaboard, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” Union County Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh said in a press release. “With this upcoming group of projects, we aim to ensure that our bridges and culverts are compliant with modern standards.”

Other bridges in the county recently approved to undergo improvements are:

·         Netherwood Avenue and Wells Road (Plainfield/North Plainfield, over Green Brook), construction expected to begin in spring 2017.

·         East Hazelwood Avenue and Main Street (Rahway, over the Rahway River), construction expected in summer 2016.

·         Mountain Avenue and Sherbrook Drive (Berkeley Heights, over a stream), construction expected in summer 2016.

·         Martine Avenue and Mary Ellen Lane (Scotch Plains, over a stream), construction expected in summer 2016.

Also among the county's upcoming projects: Road resurfacing for county roads and an intersection improvement are scheduled for Westfield this year. To keep up to date on any major changes in traffic patterns resulting from bridge replacement or other roadwork, visit the Union County Road Construction Update page at ucnj.org/traffic.