About the Project

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).

Local Capital Project Delivery (LCPD) Program (PDF - 23KB)

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.

LCD Flowchart (PDF - 365KB)

Project Overview

The existing bridge is in poor overall condition. Several factors contribute to this assessment:

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.
NJTPA is administering the project, however the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides the funding. Any transportation projects receiving Federal funding must also follow the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The Kingsland Avenue (De Jessa Memorial) Bridge LCD Study must identify any environmental concerns and develop an environmental profile. When analyzing alternatives, one looks to avoid or minimize environmental impacts and if that’s not possible then to provide mitigation. The environmental resources include air, noise, hazardous or contaminated sites, parks, wetlands, water resources, social and economic impacts, and cultural resources such as historic structures and facilities.

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.
Bergen County, Essex County and the cooperating agencies of NJTPA and NJDOT, are committed to developing transportation improvements that best balance transportation needs, the environment, community concerns and cost. As part of the Community Outreach effort, numerous meetings will be held to share project information, obtain input and broad based support for bridge improvements from the local officials, community stakeholders, and the general public. The primary tasks of stakeholders are to assist in the development of the Project Purpose and Need Statement, assist in the development of conceptual alternatives, identify possible fatal flaws, and to assist in the recommendation of the Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA) based on the Project Purpose and Need. users
Develop Project Purpose and Need Statement: Fall 2016

Development of Conceptual Alternatives: Winter 2017

Recommendation 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
Local Officials Meeting No. 1 - Input on Purpose and Need: Fall 2016

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

Obtain Resolutions of Support for PPA from Municipalities & Counties: Winter 2020