The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that engineering design work is beginning for the reconstruction of two bridges and the replacement of two others, located in Linden, Mountainside, Rahway and Westfield. The awards represent a major step forward for the projects.
The work is part of “Move. Connect. Grow.,” Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen’s sweeping initiative to upgrade, improve and expand the transportation network in Union County for all forms of travel including motor vehicles, mass transit, cycling and walking.
“The benefits of the bridge improvements will ripple through our municipalities, to central New Jersey and beyond,” said Bergen. “I am looking forward to working with our state and federal partner agencies to secure additional funding so we can continue to move forward.”
The four bridge projects now beginning the design phase are:
- Elm Street Bridge, Westfield
- West Tracy Road Bridge, Mountainside
- Hussa Street Bridge, Linden
- Irving Street Bridge, Rahway
“Union County is responsible for 470 bridges and culverts, many of which provide critical transportation links both on a local and regional level,” said Bergen. “Maintaining and updating these crossings is a key responsibility that the Freeholder Board takes very seriously.”
To help fund the Elm Street Bridge project, Union County has received a grant of $750,000 from the NJDOT Local Aid Grant under the agency’s 2015-Local Bridges Future Needs Program. Located at the intersection of Orchard Street, the existing bridge was built in 1926. It is similar to a culvert and the work will involve addressing underground utilities. The entire bridge will be removed and replaced.
For the West Tracy Road project, Union County has received Local Aid Grant of $300,000 from NJDOT for construction work. The bridge was built in 1935. The superstructure is a reinforced concrete slab, which will be removed and replaced.
The Hussa Street Bridge was built in 1956. This project also involves removal and replacement of the superstructure, which consists of precast box beams. An NJDOT grant of $700,000 will be applied to construction.
The Irving Street project is particularly complex because of the historic nature of the bridge, which was built in 1900, and its location in a densely developed downtown district with adjacent buildings. Union County has applied for an NJDOT grant of $1 million for construction.
In addition to accelerating the County’s bridge reconstruction program, Chairman Bergen’s “Move. Connect. Grow.” initiative includes:
- Continuation of the Infrastructure Grant program, which provides Union County grants to municipalities for local projects, with a focus on road repaving.
- Completion of the Union County Transportation Master Plan, a key planning tool.
- Creation of new bike paths.
- Continued advocacy for regional transportation improvements, including expansion of “one-seat” rail service to New York City from Union County, and for the construction of the new Gateway Tunnel rail project.
For up-to-date information on road closures and other travel advisories related to County infrastructure road and bridge projects, visit the interactive Road Construction Update page at ucnj.org.