Frequently Asked Questions

The Kingsland Avenue (Avondale and De Jessa Memorial) Bridge is a movable swing bridge because of the way it rotates to open the river way for marine vessels to move up and down the Passaic River:

  • Bridge spans the Passaic River connecting the Township of Lyndhurst and the Township of Nutley.
  • Year Built: 1905 (rehabilitation work in 1986).
  • Bridge type: 3 spans- riveted Warren truss rim-bearing swing center span (236 ft), west approach riveted deck girder (42 ft) and east approach pre-stressed concrete box beam (41 ft).
  • Overall length: 326 feet.
  • Bridge roadway width: 36’ – 8”.
  • Bridge clearance in closed position: 8.2 feet (at MHW).
  • Bridge in serious overall condition and is Structurally Deficient – 2012 Bridge Re-evaluation Report).
  • Sufficiency Rating = 33.0 (out of 100).
  • Superstructure in poor condition: Rating = 3 out of 10 (localized advanced material losses to steel truss members and to girders & floor beams in swing span).
  • Bridge may soon need to be load posted due to advancing deterioration of steel support members.
  • Substructure is in fair condition.
  • Bridge is scour critical.
  • Bridge railings are substandard.
  • Bridge operating machinery in overall fair condition but has no span lock system as required by AASHTO.
  • Bridge electrical system in overall fair condition with many obsolete components (ex. manually operated barrier gates).
  • Bridge opening duration (10 minutes) does not meet AASHTO standards (1 minute to both open and close).
  • Bridge needs approximately $6M (six million dollars) in remedial repairs.
  • Existing bridge cannot be widened (due to trusses).

The project is currently in the Local Preliminary Engineering (LPE) phase. The LPE phase involves performing engineering and environmental tasks and documentation in order to obtain National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) clearance for the project. Based on the Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA), a number of activities are simultaneously set in motion: community involvement (meetings with affected property owners or business owners), agency consultation, environmental documentation, design level mapping and design services. To inform and to encourage community consensus, community stakeholder and public information center meetings will be conducted, which may lead to minor refinements of the approach roadway intersections of the PPA. The Townships of Lyndhurst and Nutley will be asked to maintain the resolutions of support for the PPA and for any design refinements.

The tasks conducted during the LPE Phase consist of, but are not limited to:

  • Technical Environmental Studies (including Section 106 and Section 4(f) Evaluation)
  • NEPA Document (Categorical Exclusion)
  • Development of design level base plans
  • Utility discovery and verification
  • Geotechnical studies for foundation and pavement design
  • Preliminary drainage work
  • Structural studies that document the structural selection process and the recommended structure and aesthetic treatments
  • Access and right of way impact evaluation
  • Development of property acquisition cost estimates and project cost estimates

The following is the tentative overall project schedule:

  • Local Concept Development Study – completed Spring 2020
  • Local Preliminary Engineering Phase – current, Summer 2022 – Spring 2024
  • Final Design Phase – anticipated Summer 2024 – Summer 2026
  • Construction Phase – anticipated Fall 2026 – Spring 2028

LPE Project Schedule (Major Milestones)

Environmental Documentation CompletedFall 2023
Submission of Local Preliminary Engineering ReportFall 2023
Completion of Local Preliminary Engineering PhaseSpring 2024

LPE Anticipated Community Involvement Schedule

Local Officials MeetingsFall 2022, Fall 2023
Community Stakeholders MeetingSpring 2023
Public Information Center MeetingFall 2023

A Local Concept Development (LCD) Study is the first phase of the Local Capital Project Delivery Process for transportation improvements. During this phase a well-defined and well-justified Purpose and Need Statement was developed, focusing on the need to improve safety and maintain the current crossing over the Passaic River. The LCD phase elements also include

  • data collection;
  • coordination with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in addition to local officials, community stakeholders, the general public as well as permitting agencies;
  • the development of a reasonable number of sensible and practical conceptual alternatives;
  • the recommendation of a Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA); and
  • to investigate all aspects of the project. These aspects will include environmental, right of way, access, utilities, design, community involvement, constructability, and cost analysis. 

At the end of the LCD Study, the results were presented to the cooperating agencies of NJTPA, NJDOT and FHWA to concur on the preliminary preferred alternative for bridge improvements to be advanced to the next phase of Local Preliminary Engineering (LPE) with resolutions of support from the Townships and Counties.  The LCD Study was completed in 2020 with the recommended PPA for the replacement of the Kingsland Avenue Bridge.

Additional information about Local Concept Development is on the NJTPA website. The list of outreach meetings held and associated documents can be found on this website under Community Outreach / Meetings.

The Kingsland Avenue (Avondale and De Jessa Memorial) Bridge is over 100 years old and has structural and functional limitations that don’t meet today’s design standards. Due to its age, the bridge has deteriorated over time and routine maintenance can no longer address the deficiencies.  Bergen County applied for federal funding, which requires following the Local Project Delivery Process beginning with the Local Concept Development (LCD) Study phase to determine what are issues with the bridge and how best to improvement them.

Age and deterioration, increased traffic volume and loads (weight of vehicles), and the potential for severe storms to disrupt normal operations are some of the reasons why this bridge no longer operates well and is in need of replacement, if it is to continue to function and provide a viable crossing of the Passaic River connecting Kingsland Avenue in the Township of Lyndhurst, Bergen County and Park Avenue in the Township of Nutley, Essex County. Both are important roadways for the local communities and the region.

Age and Physical Condition: The bridge was built in 1905 and significant rehabilitation of the bridge was done in 1986. Now it is beyond its serviceable life at over hundred years old. The bridge is in serious overall condition and is structurally deficient. The bridge is structurally deficient with its superstructure in poor physical condition with observed fatigue cracks found in numerous steel members and loss of section at panel point joints of most below deck truss members. The substructure is in satisfactory condition but has a moderate potentially vulnerability to scour. The bridge’s mechanical machinery and electrical system are in poor condition; reaching the end of their serviceable life. The bridge railings do not meet current crash and safety standards.

Load Capacity: The bridge is inspected every two years. It has not been load posted to restrict weight capacity, however if the deterioration of the steel support members advances it may become necessary to limit vehicle weight, if replacement is not implemented.

The County of Bergen, County of Essex, and the Townships of Lyndhurst and Nutley passed resolutions of support for the bridge to be replaced and the Federal and State agencies (FHWA, NJTPA and NJDOT) concurred to advance the project to the Local Preliminary Design (LPE) Phase.  Further engineering and environmental work will occur in this phase to develop the preliminary design plans and minor refinements to the proposed improvements for the bridge replacement and approach roadway intersections near the bridge.

Please see the conceptual plan of the recommended Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA) located under the About the Project / Maps and Plans or click here.

The Study determined the need to widen the bridge to enhance safety and access. The existing bridge structure cannot be widening due to the steel trusses, so replacement of the bridge with a wider fixed bridge structure is recommended to address the project transportation needs.

As part of the LCD Study, the project team asked for input from the local officials and community stakeholders to understand what pedestrian and bicycle mobility and access is needed. When developing the project Purpose and Need for improvements, all modes of transportation were taken into consideration regarding the proposed bridge improvements, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit, vehicular, and marine types of activity and access.  The PPA recommends sidewalks and roadway shoulders on both sides of the bridge to enhance pedestrian and bicycle access and safety.

The cost of the LCD Study was $800,000 (eight hundred thousand dollars), funded with Federal dollars.  The cost of the design and construction of the project were estimated at the completion of the LCD Study and will be further determined during the LPE phase.  The LPE phase and future phases will qualify to be funded with Federal dollars provided the design and construction plans meet the Federal requirements.

As part of the LCD Study, an environmental screening was performed. The environmental screening identified the issues, concerns, and potential “fatal flaws” related to the social, economic, and environmental resources that aided in establishing impacts for the various alternatives. The screening included a review of the potential impacts to air/noise receptors, ecological constraints, cultural resources, publicly owned parks and recreation areas, wildlife or waterfowl refuges, hazardous materials (known contaminated sites), socioeconomics, and environmental justice.

At this stage in the project, the environmental screening has been prepared and reviewed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Bureau of Environmental Program Resources (BEPR) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).  The Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA), as it is advanced in the LPE phase, will have further environmental and cultural resource studies conducted in accordance with State and Federal permitting agencies.

The project team is very interested in knowing how the local community uses the bridge and any current approach roadway concerns, and welcomes input regarding the proposed bridge replacement improvements. Community Outreach during the LCD Study was an important part of the transportation improvement process and public outreach will continue during the LPE phase and future design and construction phases of the project.

Attendance at public meetings is a good way to make your voice heard and ensure a successful project that meets the community’s needs and interests. If you are unable to attend a meeting, you can keep tabs on new project developments by visiting this Project Website and reviewing the meeting summary reports and PowerPoint presentations. Naturally, coming out to the meeting, or attending online if the meeting is held virtually, is the best way to stay informed, provide input, and discuss any questions or comments you may have with the project team present. However, if you still have questions we’ve made it easy for you to contact your County Project Manager and the Project Team directly by using the online contact form.

Bergen County, Essex County, and the cooperating agencies of NJDOT and NJTPA encourage transportation improvements that best balance transportation needs, the environment, community interests and cost. As part of the Community Outreach effort, there will be outreach meetings held to share project information and provide input.
Please:

  • Check this website regularly for updated information
  • Attend public outreach meetings
  • Complete the online contact form to add your information to the email and/or mailing lists.

Bergen County, Essex County and the cooperating agencies of NJDOT and NJTPA, encourages community members to voice their concerns and contribute suggestions to the Project Team. To ask questions or provide input, please use the online contact form or contact:

Joseph Baladi, P.E., P.P., CME
Division Head – Planning (Bergen County Project Manager)

Joseph A. Femia, P.E.
Department Director / County Engineer

County of Bergen
Department of Planning and Engineering
One Bergen County Plaza, 4th Floor
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Email: kingslandavenuebridge@gmail.com

Luis E. Rodriguez
Assistant County Engineer

Sanjeev Varghese, P.E., P.P.
Public Works Director / County Engineer

County of Essex
Department of Public Works
Division of Engineering
900 Bloomfield Avenue
Verona, NJ 07044
Email: kingslandavenuebridge@gmail.com

Local Capital Project Delivery Process

Purpose & Need Statement

Data Collection & Environmental Screening Report

Selection of Preliminary Preferred Alternative

Concept Development Report

NEPA Classification

Create Design Communications Report

Initial Public Outreach & Involvement

Approved Design Exception Report

Cost Estimates (Final Design, ROW & Construction)

Approved Environmental Document

Approved Project Plan

Preliminary Engineering Report

Update Design Communications Report

Continued Public Outreach & Involvement

Construction Contract Documents & PS&E Package

Environmental Reevaluations

Environmental Permits

Acquisition of ROW

Update Design Communications Report

Continued Public Outreach & Involvement

Implement and Complete Construction

Continue Public Outreach

As-Builts

Update and Finalize Design Communications Report

Close-out Documentation

Recent News

Update: October 27, 2022

Two renderings have been created to visualize what the new bridge will look like

Update: September 2, 2022

The Local Concept Development (LCD) Study that was completed in 2020 and is now advancing to the Local Preliminary Engineering (LPE) Phase using federal funding.

Update: February 7, 2022

Public Information Center meetings were held on December 12, 2019 and the public comment period ended January 17, 2020. Click here to see the presentation.

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