Scotland Road improvements begin this month

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Long-awaited improvements to Scotland Road, a county road in South Orange, will begin with the recent award of a contract to Colonnelli Brothers, who are set to break ground in late May to replace the water main that runs the length of the roadway. The South Orange Water Utility and its consultant engineering firm, HDR, will oversee the project with help from New Jersey American Water, the operator of South Orange’s water system. 

Together they plan to replace the more than 120-year-old water main while adding 39 new LED gas lamp lookalike street lights and improved curbing. When this phase is complete in August, Essex County will take over the remainder of the project, which will include road repavement; grooved pavement on center lines and curve shoulders; re-centered lanes; shoulder and crosswalk striping; ADA-accessible intersections, ramps, and crosswalks; signage; and a raised intersection, aka speed table, at Raymond Avenue to help slow traffic. As a finishing touch, South Orange will plant up to 50 street trees along the route to further improve the aesthetics of one of its busiest corridors.

Detours and disruptions will be ongoing from May through August, so residents and travelers are encouraged to seek alternate routes and subscribe to the following information sources for regular updates:

  • Sign up on for “Water Utility” alerts using the village’s “Notify Me” text and email service.
  • Find detailed traffic redirection plans at
  • Scotland Road residents should look for a hand-delivered letter from SOWU.
  • Contact Howard Levison, SOWU administrator, with questions at 973-378-7715, ext. 7760, or

Levison said in a press release that he is “looking forward to replacing the water main, which dates from 1852, with one which will have greater capacity and reliability to serve the system and its residents. The new street lighting will look like the gas lamps but be more energy efficient.” 

“We have long had safety and pedestrian concerns with this high traffic county road and we think, in addition to the improved safety features, the aesthetic improvements will have a psychological effect that also calms traffic by making the corridor look more quiet and residential,” village Administrator Adam Loehner said.

SOWU contractors will post hangtags on doors when homes will be directly affected. The timetable for the Essex County paving portion of the project is still not set, but the South Orange website and social media will be updated with it when the county releases the information.