Union County officials gave the Planning Board a "courtesy review" Thursday of a $3.2 million project to replace the Netherwood Avenue bridge over the Green Brook.
County Supervising Engineer Paul Leso said the center pier will be removed in the new bridge to prevent build-up of debris, otherwise it will mostly similar to the present design. The project includes $1 million in state funds and Leso said there should be no cost to the city.
The Green Brook divides Plainfield from North Plainfield and four properties in all will be affected by the work, Leso said. Traffic will have to detour for the duration of the project, which is expected to start in late summer. Completion could take nine months to one year.
Resident Nancy Piwowar asked for traffic notifications to include cautions around Barlow School to watch for children, as detours will lead to Farragut Road where the school is located.
The board also received an update on plans for intersection upgrades on West Seventh Street at Central, Grant and Plainfield avenues. County Project Manager Ray Sullivan said the intersections will receive new curbing, ADA ramps and "brand new signals." The intersections were identified as having high incidences of vehicles striking pedestrians and presently have antiquated systems dating back to the 1970s. The goal is to increase safety, Sullivan said.
Resident Brian Price asked whether any bike lanes were proposed for the bridge or intersection projects. Sullivan said bicycles were cited in the intersection study, but lanes were not dedicated. He said he saw all kinds of traffic at the intersections, from trucks to motorized wheelchairs. Bey suggested use of "Complete Streets," a concept the board explored in 2014.
The intersection work is expected to start in the Fall. One or two parking stalls may be eliminated, Sullivan said. Planning Board member William Toth asked for drawings, but Nierstedt said the discussion was informational and not a capital plan requiring approval. Sullivan said a public informational session was held in April 2016, but he could provide a Power Point summary to the city.