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Centre Street Bridge in Nutley to Remain Partly Open During Rebuilding

Commissioner says half the bridge will be open on different sides during the state-funded replacement, which will begin this spring and take more than one year to complete

 The Centre Street Bridge over the Second River in Nutley will be rebuilt starting this spring, but half the bridge will remain open during construction, and the bridge's historic look will be preserved, according to local and county officials. 

The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders' voted Nov. 20 to provide $1 million from the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund for the township project, according to Nutley Commissioner Joseph Scarpelli, who oversees the Department of Public Works.

"Centre Street is a county road, so we asked the freeholders for help, and we are getting it," Scarpelli said, adding that Nutley officials applied for the funding with the help of county officials last June.

The Nutley funding represents the lion's share of a $1.6 million package set aside for transportation projects in Eseex County, said Freeholder Brendan Gill, who represents Nutley. East Orange and Glen Ridge are each receiving $300,000 for projects in those communities.

“This is an important project, and we’re looking forward to starting work on it,” Gill said in a statement.

After county officials asked for Nutley's input on replacing the bridge, the Nutley Community Preservation Partnership and Nutley Historical Society both said the structure's historic look should be preserved, Scarpelli also said.

"There is an all-brick archway underneath that was designed by the Olmstead brothers landscape architects, the people who designed Central Park in [New York City] and most of the parks in the state's counties," Scarpelli said. "Our groups both asked that the classic architecture be preserved." 

The other request from Nutley officials was to keep half the bridge open to two-way traffic during the more than one year the bridge will be under construction.

"We especially need it to be half open to keep traffic flowing, especially for emergency vehicles, which would have a nightmare trying to get across town," Scarpelli said.

The bridge is located between Passaic and Franklin avenues near Yantacaw Park.

Editor Paul Milo contributed to this report.

lutz hoemke January 12, 2013 at 03:25 PM
I walked across the center street bridge in Nutley this morning and i did not see anything that would need repair . are there structural deficiencies that make this repair necessary ? i would like to know .lutz hoemke
Casey Jackman January 16, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Lutz, if you walked over it and actually did see something that needed dire repair, it'd be too late by then. All bridges need repair at some point. There is a bridge listing (somewhere) that dates when a bridge is due. It's proactive, not reactive.
Kristen February 03, 2013 at 08:51 PM
I imagine that Casey Jackman is not incorrect. But I have the same query as Lutz Hoemke. It would be nice to read in the article why the bridge is being repaired/rebuilt.

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