Essex County to receive $26.4M NJTPA grant for safety improvements

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County will receive $26.4 million in federal grants from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to make safety improvements at 39 intersections throughout Essex County. The projects include extending curbs and installing refuge islands, where feasible, to shorten crossing distances for pedestrians; and the installation of leading pedestrian interval signals, which stop traffic in all directions to allow people to cross more safely.

“This funding supports infrastructure improvements to enhance safety for motorists and particularly pedestrians. The intersections identified for upgrades are along some of our most heavily traveled corridors,” said Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr., who is the county’s representative on the NJTPA board of trustees.

The improvements will be completed as part of two separate projects.

The first project received $17 million for traffic and pedestrian signal upgrades at 25 intersections throughout the county, including leading pedestrian intervals, four new traffic signals, and curb-extensions and pedestrian refuge islands where feasible. The intersections are in Belleville, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Millburn, Montclair, Newark, Nutley, Orange, South Orange, Verona and West Orange.

Intersections to be upgraded in the first project include the following:

  • In Belleville, Rutgers and Cortlandt streets.
  • In Bloomfield, Franklin Street and Newark Avenue; Franklin Street and Garden State Parkway northbound ramp; Franklin Street and Garden State Parkway southbound ramp; Franklin Street and Municipal Plaza/Montgomery Street; West Passaic Avenue and Broad Street; West Passaic and East Passaic avenues; a new signal at Broad Street and MacLeod Lane; Belleville Avenue and State Street; and Belleville Avenue and Broad Street.
  • In Glen Ridge, Watchung and Ridgewood avenues.
  • In Millburn, Millburn Avenue and Vauxhall Road.
  • In Montclair, Valley Road and Normal Avenue; Valley and Mount Hebron roads; and Watchung Avenue and Grove Street.
  • In Newark, a new signal at Springfield Avenue and South 17th Street.
  • In Nutley, West Passaic Avenue/Kingsland Street and Darling Avenue; and a new signal at Franklin Avenue and Church Street/Booth Drive.
  • In Orange, Washington and High streets.
  • In South Orange, South Orange and Prospect avenues; South Orange and Ridgewood Avenue; and Irvington and Prospect avenues.
  • In Verona, a new signal at Fairview and Personette avenues.
  • In West Orange, Washington Street and Watchung Avenue; and Pleasant Valley Way and Woodland Avenue.

The second project received $9.4 million for similar improvements to 14 intersections along two corridors — Valley Street in Maplewood and South Orange and Springfield Avenue in Irvington. This project also includes the installation of four new traffic signals at Valley and 1st streets in South Orange; and Springfield Avenues intersections with Orange Avenue, Smith Street and 42nd Street in Irvington.

Other intersections to be upgraded in the second project include: in South Orange, Valley and 3rd streets; in Maplewood, Valley Street’s intersections with Parker Avenue, Oakland Road, Oakview Avenue, Tuscan Road, Baker Street and Millburn Avenue; and in Irvington, Springfield Avenue’s intersections with Becker Terrace, Grove Street and Clinton/Union/Myrtle avenues.

The award was approved and announced at the NJTPA meeting on Nov. 9. The grants are part of the NJTPA’s Local Safety Program.