Bravo to DiVincenzo and Melham for getting Rutgers Street fixed … finally

Among the stories in this edition of The Observer is one that revealed that Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. and Belleville Mayor Michael Melham made an announcement last week that Rutgers Street would, after many years of being in horrendous disrepair, be paved.

The work is expected to take about a week to complete.

While the work should be performed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, since it’s a state road, it is instead being paid for and supervised by Essex County.

The truth is, if we waited until the state did the work, it would probably remain in its current disgraceful condition for many more years. But two proactive leaders — DiVincenzo and Melham — worked together to ensure this infrastructural nightmare got taken care of sooner rather than later.

Any motorist who has, in the last few years, driven eastbound on Rutgers from Belleville, over the Rutgers Street Bridge into Kearny, knows that the area closest to Main Street is currently a nightmare. We often wonder how cars are driven there without the complete loss of the undercarriage. We often wonder how there aren’t hundreds of flat tires each day.

It’s that bad.

But fret no more, folks, it will soon be fixed, nicely paved and no longer an abhorrent danger to drivers.

To DiVincenzo and Melham we say thank you for ensuring this work gets done — even though the responsibility to do so was on neither of your shoulders. You have both demonstrated you know how to get the job done, especially when direly necessary.

It’s only a shame the state couldn’t live up to its responsibility.

Then again, those of us on this side of the Passaic River are already keenly aware of the state skirting its responsibilities.

Just ask anyone following the Keegan Landfill crisis.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.