County installs new traffic signal equipment at on Park Avenue

Photo Courtesy of Glen Frieson
Students from the Franklin School Student Safety Patrol cut the ceremonial ribbon at the intersection of Park and Mount Prospect avenues in Newark on Wednesday, May 25, as officials watch.

NEWARK, NJ — New traffic signal equipment was installed at the intersection of Park and Mount Prospect avenues in Newark on Wednesday, May 25. The improvements are part of a $6 million project to upgrade nine intersections along Park Avenue in Newark, East Orange and Orange. The intersection upgrades are part of the county’s ongoing initiative to modernize infrastructure to enhance pedestrian and motor vehicle safety.

“Traveling along county roads and through these intersections are part of our daily lives. We use county roads to go to work, school and shopping. This project is part of our ongoing initiative to modernize our infrastructure to ensure it meets current traffic demands,” Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. said, adding that he followed the recommendation of Senate Majority Leader and Deputy Chief of Staff M. Teresa Ruiz to have new traffic signal equipment installed at this intersection. “Park Avenue is one of the busiest county roads in Essex, providing east to west access. The high volume of cars traveling this way made it necessary for us to make sure our infrastructure here meets the current traffic demand.”

“The danger that existed here was extraordinary with parents dropping off their children and students walking to school. I’m so happy the improvements are here now to protect children and their families. The students now have some additional protection because of the lights,” Ruiz said.

“This is part of the county’s commitment to reinforce safe passages to schools. The traffic signal at this intersection will ensure a safer walk to Franklin School for our students,” Newark North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos said.

“This has always been a challenging intersection ever since I came to Franklin School 17 years ago. We are very appreciative of the county making this happen,” said Franklin School Principal Amy Panitch, who was joined at the event by members of the school’s Student Safety Patrol.

The equipment includes LED traffic signals, modern poles, high-visibility crosswalks and roadway striping, and pedestrian countdown timers that can be activated by pushing the crossing button. LED lights are brighter, easier to see, more energy efficient and last longer than traditional bulbs. Sidewalks, curbs and roadway pavement was replaced only where it was disturbed by the construction or broken. The signals also are outfitted with GPS clocks to ensure they remain coordinated with other traffic signals along Park Avenue.

The new traffic signals installed at the intersection of Park and Mount Prospect avenues are part of a larger traffic signal improvement project that also includes eight other intersections in Orange, East Orange and Newark. The other intersections are where Park Avenue meets: Garside Avenue in Newark, Ridge Street in Newark, Parker Street in Newark, 19th Street in East Orange, Lincoln Street in East Orange, North Clinton Street in East Orange, North Day Street in Orange and Cleveland Street in Orange.

NV5 from Parsippany received a professional services contract for $168,262 to design the upgrades at all locations. Assuncao Brothers Inc. from Edison was awarded a publicly bid contract for $4,349,263 to perform the construction work. Pennoni Associates from Newark was awarded a $903,886 contract to provide construction inspection and project management services. The design, construction and construction inspection for each intersection cost about $602,000. Essex County received a grant from the Federal Local Safety Program to fund the project. The Essex County Department of Public Works monitored the project to answer questions and prevent delays.