Street work will cause delays

Town officials detail repaving and improvements projects paid through grants

Huber Street students present a check to Mayor Michael Gonnelli for the animal shelter.
Huber Street students present a check to Mayor Michael Gonnelli for the animal shelter.

The good news: a number of Secaucus streets will be repaved this summer. Some streets are in dire need, while others will be part of massive utility infrastructure improvements.

The bad news: residents can expect traffic detours and delays, possibly until the end of the year, according to town officials.

The Town Council at its April 9 meeting warned residents to expect delays and detours but said that ultimately local streets will provide a smoother ride thanks to repaving.

The Town of Secaucus recently secured a grant of $450,000 from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Municipal Aid Program for the Franklin Street Roadway Preservation Project.

With the funds secured, the town will repave the street, replace a compromised storm water line and replace sidewalks, curbs, and driveway aprons as needed, on  Franklin Street between Paterson Plank Road and Gillis Place. The work is expected to take place this summer.

The NJDOT Municipal Aid Program is a competitive program which assists local governments in improving and preserving the local transportation network. Funds are available from the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) supported by the state gas tax.

“We’re really happy that the Franklin Project grant was approved,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli. “Grants like this help us to improve infrastructure with little impact on the budget. We always have and will continue to aggressively pursue grants to help keep improving the town.”

Councilman Nick Costantino said storm water pipes that were installed years ago on Franklin Street had collapsed and need replacement.

But this is only one of a number of paving projects that will take place throughout the town, said Town Administrator Gary Jeffas.

PSE&G will be replacing underground infrastructure which will require digging up some streets. Jeffas said the town is working out arrangements for the municipality and utility to share the cost of repaving.

“This is very complex, and not 100 percent of those streets will be repaved curb to curb,” he said.

Mayor Gonnelli warned that there will be a number of detours throughout town until the end of the year.

One of the most significant projects will involve lane closures on Paterson Plank Road Bridge which passes over Route 3. There will be a complete rebuilding of the deck, and this will mean that there will be permanent barriers, Gonnelli said.

This is a critical overpass, because it is the only road that connects the north end of the town to the plaza and the rest of Secaucus. It is heavily traveled even in non-rush hour times, but rush hour will have delays.

This work will take about a year and a half, and he said residents should expect traffic delays.

“This won’t be gridlock, people will get through, but they have to have patience,” Gonnelli said.

Secaucus has secured other grants in recent months, including more than $2 million from NJDOT’s Local Freight Impact Fund Program for the rehabilitation of the Meadowlands Parkway; $346,000 from the US Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) Port Security Grant Program for a new Fire Rescue Boat; and $500,000 from the Hudson County Open Space Fund toward an indoor sports facility, to name a few. The town has many more applications in the pipeline.

Recent completed projects supported by grants were the Born Street Storm Water Project funded by the NJDOT Local Aid Infrastructure Fund and the milling and paving of several streets, including Luhmann Terrace, Arch Street, Garry Terrace, and First Street, funded primarily by Municipal Aid grants.

Students donate to animal shelter

Students from the Huber Street School student government presented Mayor Gonnelli with $250 the students raised as part of dress down day at their school.

This was money raised to help support the Secaucus Animal Shelter. Councilwoman Orietta Tringali said the student group routinely raises money for good causes.

“We do this for a number of local organizations,” said Jason Leppin, one of the students present for the presentation.

The town is expected to do an official ribbon cutting soon on a new dog park near the Animal Shelter at the end of Meadowlands Parkway.

“This was previously just a gravel lot,” Gonnelli said.

The dog park will be named after former Councilwoman Susan Pirro, who passed away in 2018.

Pirro was a strong advocate for animals and was deeply involved in the operations and maintenance of the shelter as a member of the town council.

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