The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Plainfield's Brooklyn Road finally gets its due


West 7th Street was once two separate roads.


Plainfield's Brooklyn Road will finally get its due -- as part of Union County's 7th Street raid improvements slated to get under way about August 1st.

Back in the day (1870 or so), West 7th Street started at Park Avenue and stopped at Plainfield Avenue. Across the avenue, the street was known as Brooklyn Road. You can see the ghost intersection by noticing the sharp turn in the road at the traffic light. (This is similar to the way the intersections of Front Street, Park Avenue and Somerset Street were straightened out in the 1960s.)

The Union County roads department has announced that milling, paving and striping are to begin August 1 and run for five nights on the stretch from Park Avenue to Clinton Avenue. Work crews are slated from 7:00 PM to 6:00 AM, during which time the road will be close except to local residents and emergency traffic (the Plainfield Rescue Squad is located at West 7th Street and Spooner Avenue).

The street is also known as County Road 601, and is one of Plainfield's busiest streets. Often I must wait for a leisurely parade of cars, vans, trucks and New York buses to pass before I can get out of the driveway.

Over the 35 years we have been at this address, the road has taken quite a beating. A couple of years ago, a novel approach was to mill and apply two long patches that left the original asphalt in the middle and along the gutters on both sides. This was not very successful and after the first winter, the failing bond with the old pavement generated a whole new series of potholes forcing drivers to try to straddle the strips of potholes as they drove to avoid cratering.

Among the most frequent commercial vehicles passing through (besides the NYC buses) are the Pepsi delivery trucks from the Pepsi bottling plant on New Brunswick Road. This bottling plant replaces a facility that used to be in Plainfield. Does anyone remember the location of the Plainfield bottling plant? (Was it next door to the Fire Headquarters on West 4th Street?)

The County advises the Traffic Bureau is available to answer any questions you may have about the road work. Call them during regular business hours at (908) 789-6011.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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