Bergen County and Essex County are conducting a study of the existing Kingsland Avenue (De Jessa Memorial) Bridge over the Passaic River to improve its structural deficiencies and maintain an important transportation connection for residents and commuters in who travel to and from business and residential areas on both sides of the Passaic River. The bridge has been temporarily closed in recent years for structural and mechanical repairs. Due to its age, the bridge has deteriorated over time and routine maintenance can no longer address the deficiencies.
This Local Concept Development Study is the first step to bridge improvements. The costs are too great for Bergen County and Essex County, so Federal funding is required. An application was filed with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) who oversees this phase of the project, known as Local Concept Development (LCD).
During this phase a well-defined and well-justified Purpose and Need Statement will be developed focusing on the need to improve safety and improve the current crossing over the Passaic River. LCD Phase elements also include data collection; coordination with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), community stakeholders, and permitting agencies; the development of a reasonable number of sensible and practical conceptual alternatives; the determination of a Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA); and to investigate all aspects of the project. These aspects will include environmental screening, right of way, access, utilities, design, community involvement, constructability, and cost analysis.
Condition: The bridge superstructure’s physical condition includes localized section losses to steel truss members above and below the deck level and localized section losses to girders and floor beams in the swing span. The substructure is in generally fair condition but is potentially vulnerable to scour. The bulkhead at the southwest channel embankment is deteriorated and failed. The bridge’s electrical system is over 25 years old and consists of new and obsolete devices and sub-systems that are nearing the end of their serviceable life. In the past, the swing span has failed to open and has also been stuck in the open position.
Highway Safety: The bridge railings do not meet current crash standards.
Public Safety: The bridge approach traffic control system does not operate in accordance with current acceptable standards and is not fully interlocked with the bridge control system.
Seismic: The bridge is susceptible to seismic forces and does not meet current seismic design standards.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Bureau of Environmental Resources (BEPR) oversees this aspect of the project in cooperation with NJTPA, Bergen County and Essex County, to coordinate with the permitting agencies such as NJDEP and NJSHPO (New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office) to develop a cohesive plan for proposed improvements. The agencies look carefully at comments from the public and thus community involvement is an important part of environmental process and moving the project forward with consensus and environmental compliance. The results of the environmental screening, which is in the project schedule, will be presented at the public meetings. A good Purpose & Need Statement and documentation is important for the review agencies to work well with the project team in moving the project forward from the LCD Phase to design and construction. Community involvement is an integral part of this process and the LCD Study.
Development of Conceptual Alternatives: Winter 2017
Selection of Preliminary Preferred Alternative: Fall 2019
Submission of Draft Concept Development Report: Winter 2020
Obtain Resolutions of Support for Preliminary Preferred Alternative:Winter 2020
Completion of Local Concept Development Phase: Spring 2020
Community Stakeholders Meeting No. 1 for Purpose & Need Statement Development: Fall 2016
Public Information Center for Purpose and Need Statement Development: Fall 2016
Community Stakeholders Meeting No. 2 - Input for Conceptual Alternatives: Spring 2017
Local Officials Meeting No. 2 for Preliminary Preferred Alternative Recommendation: Fall 2019
Public Information Center No. 2 – Conceptual Alternatives and Preliminary Preferred Alternative Recommendation: Fall 2019 / Winter 2020
Obtain Resolutions of Support for PPA from Municipalities & Counties: Winter 2020 / Spring 2020