Standing on Lyons Avenue Bridge, above the Elizabeth River, Irvington Mayor, Tony Vauss and Essex County Executive, Joseph DiVincenzo announced a rehabilitation project for the Lyons Avenue Bridge. The project, which will start on Monday March 13, will take three months.
“We’re going to start next week, next Monday,” said DiVincenzo. “We expect it to be done in three months, or earlier. This is something we are looking to do more and more of throughout Essex County. We have done a lot so far. This is an important bridge to do, so we made this a priority.”
The Lyons Avenue Bridge sits at 16 feet tall, and about 80 feet wide. It has stood for close to 75 years above the Elizabeth River.
“This is a work in progress as we move forward to make our township the best it can be,” said Mayor Vauss. “I just love the partnership we have. We are all passionate about the work our County Executive and Board of Chosen Freeholders are doing here. We are just so grateful for the partnership. This is a real project that needs to be done.”
Throughout the duration of the three-month construction of the new bridge, County Engineer, Sanjeev Varghese, assured that there would be alternatives routes available.
“This will be closed,” said Varghese. “But we will have a partisan bridge and a (one-block) detour.”
Mayor Vauss guaranteed that local businesses were one of his biggest concerns, and felt that the three-month construction would not take a toll on the any of them.
“One of the things we are concerned about, is making sure our businesses are not effected by what we are doing here,” said Vauss. “They still need to make a living. They still need to have it open for the community.”
But at Sam’s Unisex Barber Shop, whose entrance actually sits on the Lyons Avenue Bridge, local barber, Jay Walker, did not feel the same way.
“This past summer we just endured five months of heavy construction on this street,” said Walker. “It took a toll to all of the businesses around here, especially ours and all of the other businesses on our street. Now again, we are going to be hit for three months.”
Walker felt that the one-block detour that the town has planned out is not going to help his business at all, but take away from it.
“When you do make the detour it’s going to cause so much chaos people are just going to get frustrated,” said Walker. “It affects business."