Crews work on Grove Street between Watchung Avenue and Wildwood Terrace on Monday, June 4. PSE&G has been carrying out work on Grove Street for the past two weeks.
PHOTO BY ERIN ROLL/STAFF

By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

An ongoing series of township road repairs and PSE&G gas line upgrades are creating a traffic headache for motorists in Montclair’s north end.

Frederick Chichester lives at the end of Gordonhurst Avenue, a dead-end street and off of Grove Street where PSE&G is conducting work. He and his family have no choice but to drive on Grove.

In addition to PSE&G’s work, the township is carrying out its own road repair projects on Harvard Street and Prescott Avenue, both of which adjoin Grove Street.

The detour routes change on the hour, Chichester said.

“Whoever’s doing the detours aren’t doing it right,” he said, contending he was late for an appointment on Monday because of the road closures. The round trip, which he said usually takes about half an hour, ended up taking an hour.

He has not been able to get any definitive answers on the time line of work from the township, the county or PSE&G. He said it was expected that Grove Street would be paved on Tuesday, June 5, but he said no work had been done that day.

Lauren Ugorji, a spokesperson for PSE&G, said that the utility company started paving several streets as part of a gas line upgrade project on May 28, and that the work was expected to last for about a month.

She said that the paving on Grove Street, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was now slated for Wednesday.

Earlier in the week, Grove Street was closed from Clairidge Court to Wildwood Avenue, including the Watchung Avenue intersection. Traffic had to be diverted onto nearby streets, including onto Ridgewood Avenue in Glen Ridge.

Police Lt. David O’Dowd said that the construction on Grove Street was expected to last through the end of the week.

Some complaints came in from area residents due to detoured traffic passing through their neighborhoods, he said, but there had not been any notable incidents related to the traffic. Officers had been deployed to the area to help handle traffic flow.

According to PSE&G’s website, work will be done on a total of 11 streets: Grove Street, Club Road, Buckingham Road, Valley Road, Jerome Place, Highland Avenue, Bradford Avenue, Upper Mountain Avenue, Depot Square, North Willow Street and Erie Street.

Additionally, seven other streets are in the process of having their gas lines replaced: North Fullerton Avenue, Fessler Place, Franklin Avenue, Frederick Street, Yale Terrace, Mendl Terrace and Champlain Terrace. That work is also expected to last for about a month.

For information about the gas line repairs, residents may call PSE&G’s Gas Construction Hotline at 1-833-661-6200.