Resource Center News

Eric Kiefer, Patch Staff Posted Mon, Aug 8, 2022 at 3:55 pm ET

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Five culverts in West Orange, Millburn, Orange, Bloomfield and Roseland will be replaced this summer, Essex County officials say.

On Monday, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. announced that work has started to replace the Lakeside Avenue culvert over the Wigwam Brook in West Orange, which was first built more than a century ago.

Culverts – tunnels carrying a stream under a road or railway – also sometimes serve as a bridge for traffic to pass on them.

According to county officials, a recent inspection report determined that the Lakeside Avenue culvert in West Orange, originally constructed in 1920, needed to be replaced because its condition was deteriorating. The 36-foot-wide culvert carries two lanes of traffic, with one lane of traffic heading in each direction.

The new structure will be a steel stringer and brick masonry jack arch supported on stone masonry abutments, and will be similarly designed like the old one, officials said.

County officials said Mott MacDonald from Iselin was awarded a professional services contract for $236,000 to design the new culvert. Pennoni Associates Inc. from Newark was awarded a $300,000 contract to perform construction inspection services for the Lakeside Avenue culvert, as well as a separate project at the Dougal Place culvert in West Caldwell. A publicly bid contract for $537,218 was awarded to Colonnelli Brothers from Hackensack to perform the construction work.

The culvert improvements were funded with a grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation Local Aid Program, officials said.

West Orange Councilman Bill Rutherford said that much of the town’s infrastructure is aging, and that he appreciates the construction work, a point that his peer on the council, Michelle Casalino, agreed with.

“On behalf of the Township Council, I want to thank the county executive for this improvement to Lakeside Avenue,” Casalino said.

Casalino, who also represents the council on the Downtown District, added that the roadway is an “instrumental street for us.”

Essex County also is replacing four other culverts this summer, officials said:

  • the Marion Avenue culvert over the West Branch of the Rahway River in Millburn
  • the Mitchell Street culvert over the East Branch of the Rahway River in Orange
  • the Locust Street culvert over Lloyd Brook in Bloomfield
  • the Freeman Street culvert over Foulerton’s Brook in Roseland