Bridge to remain closed during construction
(Trenton) – New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced overnight lane closures in the eastbound direction on heavily traveled Route 24 will begin tonight for priority repairs to the Hobart Avenue Bridge connecting Summit, Union County and Milburn, Essex County.
The bridge, which goes over Route 24, was struck by a tractor trailer carrying construction equipment on August 26, damaging three beams. NJDOT evaluation crews assessed the structure and closed the Hobart Avenue Bridge to ensure the safety of motorists.
Overnight work with lane closures will begin tonight and continue until the project is completed, which is expected to be within the next two weeks.
Beginning at 8 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, September 17, 2014 through 5 a.m. Thursday, September 18, NJDOT and its contractors will close up to two eastbound lanes on Route 24 to repair the beams. The overpass is located about 1.5 miles east of Exit 7/CR 649 and the Short Hills Mall.
The work will take place Sundays through Thursdays from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. the next morning, and Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next morning. The repair is expected to be completed by early October. At least one eastbound Route 24 lane will be maintained during the overnight construction. The westbound lane will not be affected by the work.
The following detours have been in place for motorists wishing to cross the Hobart Avenue Bridge:
· Motorists traveling westbound on Hobart Avenue are directed to Route 124 westbound/Morris Turnpike to Summit Avenue, which is the next bridge over Route 24, and then to Route 124 eastbound/Morris Turnpike to Hobart Avenue.
· Motorists traveling eastbound on Hobart Avenue are directed to Route 124 eastbound to Route 24 eastbound to Exit 9B to Morris Avenue/CR 527 to Route 124 westbound to Hobart Avenue.
To ease congestion at the intersection of Summit Avenue and Route 124 westbound, NJDOT is making signal improvements that will include replacing the signal controller and cabinet, as well as four signal heads. A dedicated left turn arrow from Summit Avenue to Route 124 eastbound will be added to help clear traffic on the bridge more efficiently. These improvements will be permanent.
The process to repair the damaged beams under the bridge uses a specialized heat straightening technique. This will allow NJDOT to make a permanent repair more quickly than a traditional repair that often includes replacing beams, which is both more costly and time consuming.
Portable variable message signs are being utilized to provide advance notification to the motoring public of all traffic pattern changes associated with the work.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for real-time travel information.