Union Center Streetscape project nears completion

NEW LOOK — The Stuvesant Avenue Streetscape Project includes new bumpouts, lighting, granite accents, tree pits and engraved corner designs.

UNION, NJ — A $2.2 million project to improve the sidewalks and streets along a portion of Stuyvesant Avenue is expected to finish on schedule and on budget, and the town is planning to mark the completion with a ceremony.

Phase 2 of the Union Center Stuyvesant Avenue Streetscape Project should be done by the end of September, Union spokeswoman Natalie Pineiro said in an Aug. 13 email. The project includes new bump-outs, lighting, granite accents, tree pits and engraved corner designs. The stretch being improved runs along Stuyvesant Avenue between Morris and Elmwood avenues.

The township is counting on the streetscape project, which began in 2016, to help revitalize the center. Mayor Suzette Cavadas said in a press release in April that the township had “already seen an increase in foot traffic and (we) can only imagine how it will continue to grow.”

The project has prompted businesses owners along Stuyvesant Avenue to reinvest in their shops and restaurants, and residents are hoping the project will attract some high caliber retailers, the mayor said.

The first phase of the streetscape project was completed last fall between Vauxhall Road and Morris Avenue, and included a raised mid-block pedestrian crossing and seating. Both parts of the project will have uniform features, Pineiro said.

The streetscape project is included in the 2018 Road Program, which has three phases that include milling, paving, curbing and adding wheelchair ramps to dozens of roads in the township, Pineiro said. The overall road program includes 20 streets and an additional 64 roads uprooted by utility work will also be serviced.

The road program is funded by the capital improvement spending from the town, with a county infrastructure grant and a Community Development Block Grant.

The three phases of the road program are being worked on simultaneously by three different contractors so that “they can all be completed by the end of the paving season” in November, Pineiro said.

The county also is also working on Stuyvesant Avenue from Vauxhall Road to the border of Irvington. The state finished its work on Morris Avenue from the Springfield line to Caldwell Avenue, and also along Morris Avenue between Lehigh and North avenues, Pineiro said.

“The Stuyvesant Avenue streetscape project is the township’s investment in our downtown and the businesses there,” said Tamarae Baldwin, the assistant township administrator in an Aug. 13 email. “The project along with future developments is expected to stimulate the economy and growth of Union Center.”

Phase 1 of the 2018 road program includes the following roads: Berkshire Drive, Carlsen Drive, Pilgrim Way, Union Avenue and Victor Avenue.
Phase 2 includes: Andrew Street North, Bushnell Street, Concord Avenue, Concord Place, Crane Place, Delaware Avenue and Howard Street.
Phase 3 includes: Erhardt Street, from Vauxhall Road to Sayre Road South; Harmony Road; Lancaster Road; Patton Avenue; Reeves Terrace; Shearer Avenue; Susan Place; Woodmont Road; and Stuyvesant Avenue, from Morris Avenue to Elmwood Avenue.