Now that the nesting season is over for the Elm Street Bridge heron, rehabilitation work can officially begin following the . The heron, which created a nest near the bridge, has delayed construction since April 5.
The $1 million County-funded project includes widening the bridge by two-feet and increasing the weigh limit from three-tons to 40-tons so it meets federal standards. Oradell had previously approved weight and speed restrictions for the bridge to keep commercial vehicles and Transit buses from using it as a shortcut from Elm Street to New Milford Avenue.
The has been closed to vehicular traffic since June 2008. Owned by Bergen County, the bridge splits Elm Street, a borough owned road that leads from Oradell into New Milford.
It's 76-feet long and 20-feet wide but due to age and the constant flooding in the area, there has been significant damage and deterioration to the stringer beams underneath the metal bridge decking.
All of the original iron work that is visible when looking at the bridge will be refurbished and reinstalled on the new bridge so as to retain the look and character of the original bridge.
For the past few years, the Oradell Mayor and Council have received reports from Bergen County engineer Joseph Femia regarding the potential rehabilitation of the bridge. Previously at the intersections of Elm Street and Bergen Blvd along with Elm Street and Center Street.
Construction work on the bridge was expected to begin this week on July 2 but more than likely will actually start following the July 4 holiday. There is no set completion date to bring the bridge up to federal standards.