WEST ORANGE, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. and local construction trades unions announced that two project labor agreements were signed on Monday, March 11. The agreements ensure that union members will be hired to work on the development of parking decks at Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange and the Essex County Hall of Records Complex in Newark. The two projects represent approximately $38 million of new construction.
“We are always looking for ways to improve our facilities and constructing the two decks will provide the additional parking we need at both sites,” DiVincenzo said. “We have a great relationship with the building trades unions and appreciate the professional, skilled labor they provide for our construction projects.”
“It is very important to us to maintain our relationship with Essex County. We thank the county executive for providing the opportunity to work and it’s great to know we are relied upon to partner with you to rebuild Essex County,” said Lino Santiago, business representative with the international Union of Operating Engineers Local 825, who represented the construction trades unions.
The popularity of Turtle Back Zoo has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors annually and helped establish new annual attendance records in 14 of the last 15 years. Two on-site parking garages were built in 2004 and 2015, but additional parking is still needed. The third parking deck, which will have spaces for approximately 500 vehicles, will be constructed where the zoo’s maintenance and storage facilities were located. When completed, the first floor of the parking garage will be utilized as the new maintenance and storage area. The covered facility will make operations more efficient and provide better working conditions and cleaner storage areas. The zoo parking deck is scheduled to be completed by November.
Comito Associates from Newark received a $498,725 professional services contract to design the zoo parking deck; the contract also included the design of a train maintenance building. DMD Contracting from Wayne was awarded a publicly-bid $14.5 million contract to build the parking deck. Funding for the parking deck came from the Essex County operating budget.
The Hall of Records parking deck will be constructed on the employee parking lot located off of West Market Street in Newark. The structure will have six levels and the side of the deck that faces the Essex County Veterans Courthouse and Essex County LeRoy F. Smith Jr. Public Safety Building will have a glass facade to make the structure look like an office building. Construction will begin in April and is scheduled to be completed in November. This parking deck will be designated for employee parking. This will be the second parking deck at the Hall of Records; the first was opened in 2008 to accommodate jurors.
Comito Associates from Newark was awarded a professional services contract for $550,000 to design the parking deck and improvements to the remaining surface lot. Terminal Construction from Wood Ridge was awarded a publicly-bid contract for $23,520,000 to perform the construction work. The project is being funded through the Essex County capital budget.