FAIR LAWN, NJ – On Thursday, Passaic County Commissioners Pat Lepore, Terry Duffy and John Bartlett, along with Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco and Bergen County Commissioners Tracy Silna Zur, Germaine Ortiz, and Mary Amoroso, were joined by Representatives Bill Pascrell and Josh Gottheimer, and Fair Lawn Mayor Kurt Peluso to tour the ongoing improvements of the Fair Lawn Avenue Bridge Project.
Thanks to efforts from Passaic and Bergen Counties, as well as state and federal support, construction on this $15 million renovation provided to the NJTPA from the federal Department of Transportation began on March 4, 2021 after Passaic County classified the bridge as structurally deficient and functionally obsolete due to the condition of the superstructure, substructure and the bridge geometry. The project is expected to be complete in late fall of 2023.
“This bridge is a crucial connection of two robust and traffic-heavy municipalities within the borders of our two great counties. It served residents, employees, and visitors for the last 117 years. With the extent of usage of this bridge, Passaic County saw its deterioration, and knew that it was time to replace it for the safety of our residents on both sides of the border,” stated Passaic County Commissioner Director Bruce James. “The Passaic County Commissioners are proud to have worked with our neighbor Bergen County in securing the funding to see this project through, and of our Engineering Department for spearheading this project.”
“The Fair Lawn Avenue Bridge serves as one of the primary gateways linking Bergen with our neighbor Passaic County,” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. “With the support from our federal partners, thanks to Bergen and Passaic’s collaborative efforts, we were able to secure $15 million through the NJTPA to fund this crucial investment in our regional infrastructure.”
The Fairlawn Avenue Bridge, originally built in 1905, was a two-span bridge supporting only two lanes of traffic, measuring 270 feet in length with a roadway width of 19.5 feet and one 5.8 feet sidewalk at the south side of the bridge. It has served as a critical artery connecting Fair Lawn and Paterson for over 117 years.
The Fairlawn Avenue Bridge Project consists of the replacement of the existing bridge with a new a two- span continuous structure, approximately 270 feet long providing a 40 feet curb to curb roadway which matches the existing width of Fair Lawn Avenue. The new bridge structure carries three lanes: one eastbound lane, one exclusive left-turn westbound lane, and one left and right turning westbound lane. The traffic lanes are constructed at approximately the same location as the existing bridge.
Additionally, the new bridge will consist of welded steel plate girders composite with a reinforced concrete deck. There will be a six foot concrete sidewalk along the north side and a 4-bar steel railing on both side of the bridge. The project also includes upgrading/modifications of the existing traffic signal at Fair Lawn Avenue Route 20 intersection.
“In 1905, the New York Giants beat the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series, Teddy Roosevelt was inaugurated as our 26th president, and the Fifth Avenue Bridge opened over the Passaic River. With the federal funding we secured, we are finally restoring this 117-year old route for our drivers,” said U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr (NJ-9). “I have worked closely with NJDOT, Passaic County, local residents, and the Fair Lawn Chamber of Commerce for years to get this project moving. And once we finally got started, I pressed for the Public Service to get its utility work completed swiftly so bridge construction could commence. In Washington, I will continue to ensure that Garden Staters get every single cent we need to restore our infrastructure because the rebuilding of America starts in New Jersey.”
“After years of working to get this done, we’re proud to have finally fought for and won federal investment to fix the Fair Lawn Avenue Bridge — helping families, improving commutes, fixing our crumbling infrastructure, and clawing more of our federal tax dollars back to help us right here at home,” said U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Also, with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which I was proud to have played a key role in helping draft and pass, we’re going to continue making historic, much-needed investment in our bridges, roadways, and so much more — an historic investment that will help us grow the economy, create new jobs, and improve commutes for families across the state!”
The existing bridge was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. An interpretive sign will be installed on the Fair Lawn Avenue side of the structure. The purpose of the sign is to inform local residents, students, and visitors of the history behind the Fair Lawn Avenue Bridge, as well as any previous bridges at this location.
“The Fairlawn Avenue Bridge is instrumental in the City of Paterson’s transportation routes. We’re thankful to those involved in both Passaic and Bergen County in obtaining the funding to make this important connection between Fairlawn and Paterson safer and more convenient for our residents,” stated Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh.
“The improvements and completion of the Fair Lawn Avenue Bridge will help people and goods flow more freely into Fair Lawn’s downtown businesses, and will provide a further boost to our local economy,” said Fair Lawn Mayor Kurt Peluso. “I welcome this massive investment in our regional infrastructure and thank our federal and county leaders for their efforts in securing this critical funding.”
The designer of the Fairlawn Avenue Bridge Project is Dewberry Engineering, who is also providing construction support services. The construction contract for the project was awarded to Anselmi & DeCicco. Colliers Engineering is providing construction engineering and inspection.
Top photo caption – County and local officials with the blueprints for the new Fair Lawn Avenue Bridge (from left to right, representatives three members of the construction team, Bergen County Commissioner Chairwoman Tracy Silna Zur, NJ-9 Congressman Bill Pascrell, Bergen County Engineering Supervisor John Araneo, Passaic County Commissioner John Bartlett, NJ-5 Congressman Josh Gottheimer, Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, Fair Lawn Mayor Kurt Peluso, Passaic County Commissioner Terry Duffy, Passaic County Commissioner Pat Lepore, Bergen County Commissioner Germaine Ortiz, Bergen County Commissioner Mary Amoroso, Passaic County Deputy County Administrator Marc E. Seemon)