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.