BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP, NJ (Hunterdon County) – NJDOT officials Monday announced the start of a rockfall mitigation project requiring a temporary closure on I-78 in both directions on Wednesday, May 11 in Bethlehem Township.
Beginning at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 11 for approximately 15 minutes, NJDOT’s contractor, Ferreira Construction Co., Inc., is scheduled to close I-78 in both directions west of Exit 11 – Route 173/W Portal/Pattenberg for a rock blasting test.
New Jersey State Police will be assisting with the temporary closure.
In the coming weeks, there will be lane closures on I-78 eastbound for roadway improvements to shift traffic toward the median to create a work zone along the right shoulder. The shoulder was closed on May 5 and will remain closed through the fall. It will be reopened when the project goes on hiatus through the winter. Following the completion of rockfall mitigation work on the eastbound side of the roadway, work will continue on I-78 westbound. NJDOT will provide notice before any additional lane closures occur.
The $29.8 million federally-funded project will mitigate rockfall hazards along a section of I-78 eastbound and westbound between milepost 9.96 and milepost 10.55. It includes rock scaling to cut back the slope and excavation to widen the catch area to prevent rocks from potentially reaching the highway. In addition, there will be drainage improvements.
The project is anticipated to be complete by fall 2023.
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 for construction updates and real-time travel information.