Elm Street will be closed at the NJ Transit bridge there for the next four to six months as part of a $1.5 million NJ Transit project to repair the concrete bridge and a retaining wall that runs along Kings Road.
The project also has temporarily closed a Kings Road sidewalk, and means a convenience store on Elm Street will miss out on vehicle traffic that normally passes under the Elm Street Bridge.
Madison Engineer Bob Vogel said it was known repairs were needed for about a decade. The closure will allow NJ Transit to make "long, long awaited improvements to the Elm Street Bridge," he said during Monday's Borough Council meeting.
Elm Street still can be accessed up to the bridge from Park and Madison avenues.
Madison Mayor Bob Conley encouraged residents to patronize the convenience store on Elm Street.
"When a road gets closed like Elm Street, any businesses on there really can lose a lot of their regular traffic, so I just encourage any Madison residents that need to run out for a little convenience item, a loaf of bread or something, think about Madison Convencience on Elm Street," Conley said during the meeting. "He now has lost his through traffic ... so if you could buy that winning lottery ticket or something, stop by there once in a while, make sure he knows that Madison is thinking of him."
According to NJ Transit Board of Directors meeting minutes, the Morristown Line serves nearly 55,000 people daily and much of the line runs along embankments, viaducts and bridges that were built with reinforced concrete.
The Kings Road Retaining Wall and the Elm Street Bridge need repairs "in order to maintain a state-of-good-repair." The scope of work "includes repair and replacement of deteriorated concrete structural elements," including the replacement of a reinforced concrete beam for the bridge that is "now considered in poor condition and needs to be replaced in its entirety," according to NJ Transit's description of the project.
Some off peak rail outages are needed to complete the work, which was awarded to Sparwick Contracting.
The 1,100-foot-long retaining wall originally was built in 1915. The Elm Street Bridge was built in 1918.