TRENTON – State Department of Transportation crews have been making steady and significant progress in reopening state roadways as a result of around-the-clock work, Commissioner James Simpson announced.
“We are tracking every location where state roads are partially or completely closed due to flooding or storm damage and are managing a comprehensive effort to restore full travel capacity to New Jersey residents and visitors as soon as possible,” Simpson said. “The results of our non-stop work can be seen in the reopening of Route 18 in New Brunswick, Route 29 in Trenton and Route 33 in Tinton Falls.”
Storm response efforts by NJDOT have shifted from clearing trees and debris and posting detours in the hours immediately following the storm on Sunday to inspecting roads and bridges, assessing damage and making repairs. More than 234 trees were cleared from state highways in the immediate aftermath of the storm by NJDOT crews and contractors who were mobilized for that effort.
As of 10 a.m. today, there were 20 locations on state highways where all travel lanes were closed due to ongoing flooding or damage, down from 282 locations at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28. The 20 full-closure locations are among a total of 36 incidents statewide involving full or partial state road closures, down from nearly 350 on Sunday.
There were no full road closures on state highways as of 10 a.m. in Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Ocean, Salem and Union counties.
A top priority for the department is restoring service on I-287 northbound near Boonton and Parsippany-Troy Hills, Morris County, where the flooded Rockaway River washed out soil supporting part of the roadbed. Water had receded sufficiently at that location to allow NJDOT to start repairs there this morning.
Another top priority is repairs to the Route 33 Peddie Lake Bridge in Hightstown, Mercer County. Superstructure repairs are being designed and a damage assessment from under the bridge will be performed today, now that water has started to recede there
By the end of today, NJDOT and its contractors will have inspected more than 400 bridges.
Despite far fewer incidents of flooding or other localized obstructions on state roadways, motorists are urged to remain alert for hazards, including new flood conditions that continue to occur on roadways along many of the state’s rivers that remain at or near flood levels.
Residents can into traffic report broadcasts or visit www.511nj.org for up-to-the minute traffic and road conditions. Avoiding unnecessary travel and planning trips during non-peak hours in areas where obstructions and detours remain in place will help minimize inconvenience.
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