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Update: South Park Street Opens To Car Traffic Evenings And Weekends

The project is now set to be completed by August 17.

 

Just in: Update On South Park Street

The northbound side of South Park Street will close intermittently to vehicular traffic during the day for construction activity. The northbound side will be open to vehicular traffic evenings and weekends. The southbound side of the road remains an active work area. 

Earlier in the week, the township announced that South Park Street would be opened to one-way traffic. Below is the article Montclair Patch published on Tuesday.

South Park Street, which has been closed to cars—but not to pedestrians—since late May, will be opened one-way for northbound traffic on Tuesday, according to an update on the project released by township officials Monday.

Overall, the  which entered its 18th week on Monday, should be completed by August 17, the release said.

The news marked the latest—and nearly final—chapter in a long saga to revitalize downtown Montclair, according to fans of the project.

"Montclair Center is excited that—with this project—we will extend the Church Street experience around the corner onto South Park Street," said Lydia Fantozzi, a spokesperson for the Montclair Center Business Improvement District (BID). "This will help make Montclair Center a more popular destination for shopping, dining, working and living." 

She noted that the South Park Street project will allow the BID to offer a variety of new events for residents including a street fair to celebrate the redevelopment scheme on Sept. 15.

"We will celebrate it in style with food, music, arts and fun for the whole family," she said.

According to the township's release on Monday, paving of the northbound road has been completed and all fencing has been removed from the east side of the street.

Although the street finally will be opened one-way for northbound traffic, trucks will not be permitted until further notice.

The contractor will continue working on the west side of the street, with the cobblestone median and tree pits to be installed later this week. The bumpout in front of Starbucks will be completed Tuesday and the new handicap ramp on the southeast corner will also be constructed.

Over the past few days, at least some residents have marveled at the progress being made.

"It's really starting to look like something ... like something that's going to be nice," said resident Mary Ward.

The sidewalk on the west side of the street has been completed up to the  at 14 South Park Street. Handicap ramps on Bloomfield Avenue also have been completed and work has begun on bumpout construction.

Although progress has been made in fits and starts, the project has been plagued by weather and utility issues over the last several weeks.

The project—designed to extend the feel of Church Street all the way to Bloomfield Avenue—was originally expected to be completed by October 2011 and then by July 1, 2012.

In late May, Township Manager Marc Dashield told township council members that South Park Street most likely would be fully closed to traffic for only three weeks.

And, indeed, the street was closed to vehicular traffic on May 29.

The township broke ground in late March on South Park Street streetscape improvements intended to add a new center median, wide pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, a midblock crosswalk, and roadway resurfacing.

For background on the project, go 

What do you think of the South Park Street project? Does it look like progress is being made? Let us know in the comments section below.

Denise August 01, 2012 at 05:00 AM
I was by there tonight (Tuesday) and there was a sign that said: do not enter, although the fences were removed. Therefore I was unable to drive down the road Northbound. Maybe it will open up for cars on Wednesday instead?
Shelley Emling (Editor) August 01, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Let me check.
Frank Gerard Godlewski August 02, 2012 at 03:50 PM
This project is an unnecessary expenditure, when long time residents are being forced to leave because of the rise in property taxes. Downtown Montclair needs car traffic to sustain the local business economy, not just foot traffic from nearby apartment dwellers. Shoppers who drive will avoid going to Montclair Center and go to shop and park where its more convenient and desirable.

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