Worries about what the traffic will bear

KEARNY – Potential transportation headaches may be plaguing Kearny motorists from two different sources – one for several weeks and the other for the better portion of a day.

First, the town will have to deal with periodic road closures and detours that will be triggered by an emergency sewer job along Schuyler Ave. in the Second Ward.

The other situation involves closing off a portion of Passaic Ave. to vehicular traffic for a special event on a day in May.

As for the first issue, the Town Council voted last Tuesday to authorize the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC) to proceed with the rehabilitation/concrete relining of the Kearny-Harrison-Newark (KHN) branch interceptor sewer.

That section of sewer line in Kearny stretches under Schuyler between Duke and King Sts. – a seven-block-long stretch.

PVSC Chief Engineer John Rotolo said the cost of the job has been projected as $3,611,111.

As outlined by the resolution approved by the council, the job “is being initiated as a result of the existing failed condition [of that sewer] discovered as a result of road depressions observed [on Schuyler] and cracked and broken sewer pipes discovered as a result of closed-circuit CCTV inspections.”

As that work unfolds, PVSC “will be implementing time-specific lane closures and detours” during two construction phases:

• north along Schuyler from Bergen to King St., from March 27 to April 14, (partly covering the Easter holiday period) and,

• south along Schuyler from Duke to Bergen, from April 15 to May 14.

PVSC is handling the six-week job this way “to minimize the impacts to the general public, local residents and local businesses,” the resolution says.

PVSC will coordinate with the Kearny Police Department in planning the lane closures and detours associated with the job.

And it will provide the town with “construction advisories” that will be posted on websites operated by PVSC and the town and “will deliver construction notices to all residents and businesses within the work zone” to keep everyone apprised of the work to come.

As part of the project, PVSC is getting Kearny’s permission to hook up to local fire hydrants to access a water supply needed to facilitate the repairs. Mayor Alberto Santos said the PVSC contractor will mix the water with cement.

Santos said the project will require the use of an estimated “half a million gallons” of water which, he added, “will be metered for payment.”

PVSC will coordinate times for accessing the pumps with the Kearny Fire Department.

PVSC has pledged to “furnish and install the appropriate protective equipment (ie: backflow preventers) and flow meters” that will provide “weekly readings” to the town.

All overtime costs incurred by the town for public safety personnel and the town engineer will be reimbursed by the PVSC.

Looking ahead to the other traffic conundrum, town officials will be preparing for another food truck rally being planned by the Kearny PBA Local 21 for Saturday, May 6, at the Frank A. Vincent Marina on Passaic Ave.

“In anticipation of large crowds attending” the event, the PBA has requested the closure of one lane on Passaic Ave. between Bergen Ave. and Afton St., beginning at 9 a.m., and “full closure,” starting at 10 a.m., through 7:30 p.m.

Mayor Santos said that the union will also need approval from Hudson County to implement these closures since Passaic Ave. is a county roadway.

Santos said the Kearny Police Department is being asked to map out detours off Passaic “to several streets.”

The intent, Santos said, is to “spread the traffic out to it doesn’t impede the flow on any one block.”

As an example, he said, northbound traffic will be diverted off Passaic “up Bergen and then north to Park Ave.” Southbound vehicles may be directed up S. Midland Ave., he said.

Councilman Albino Cardoso worried that cars may end up being shifted onto Peden Terrace, a hill street where, he reminded his colleagues, drivers normally have a tough time safely maneuvering away from parked cars.  

In response, the mayor said he’d ask the KPD traffic unit to review its detour plans with the councilman’s admonition in mind and to share its final plan with the governing body before the May event.






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