TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) announced today that the new Route 27 bridge in Metuchen will be re-opened to traffic this afternoon or evening, nine months ahead of the original schedule.
The bridge, which carries traffic over Conrail railroad tracks, was completely closed to traffic in April for safety precautions. Closure required truck and automobile detours that will end with the re-opening of the span.
“The new bridge has been designed and built to provide decades of safe travel for motorists and pedestrians alike,” NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson said. “It’s great news for residents, businesses and motorists that we are completing the project well ahead of schedule, and we thank everyone who adapted to the necessary detours over the past five months.”
The new $9 million bridge offers single 12-foot-wide travel lanes in each direction, as well as 10-foot-wide shoulders and 10-foot-wide pedestrian and bicycle lanes in each direction.
When construction started in August 2008, the plan was to constantly monitor the structurally deficient bridge and keep it open to traffic during construction without any detours for motorists. At that time construction completion was scheduled for late-summer 2011.
In April, however, NJDOT decided to take the precautionary step of closing the bridge to traffic and establishing detours. This move ensured safety and allowed work to proceed at a much faster pace, with an estimated completion date of late October.
Each traffic lane and one of the two pedestrian/bicycle lanes will be opened tomorrow. The shoulders and the other pedestrian/bicycle lane will remain closed for about a week to allow the concrete to cure. Those portions of the bridge will be opened on or about Friday, September 24.
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