News Department

Morris County bridge work continues despite COVID-19 crisis

Bridge Projects Underway in Dover, Jefferson, and Mount Olive/Netcong

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Morris County is moving ahead on a series of bridge infrastructure projects this summer, taking advantage of lighter-than-usual traffic during the COVID-19 crisis to get work done with less impact to the motoring public.

The Russia Road bridge replacement project in Jefferson Township started this week, while work continues on the new East Blackwell Street bridge in Dover and the new Waterloo Road bridge in Mount Olive and Netcong.

Three county bridge projects already have been completed this year, with each of the spans having reopened: Schooley’s Mountain Road bridge in Washington Township, Chestnut Terrace Bridge in Rockaway Township, and the Mill Road bridge in Morris Township.

In addition, three other bridge project contracts have been awarded, with work potentially slated to start later this year: Valley Road bridge in Rockaway, West Central Avenue bridge in Wharton, and Intervale Road bridge over Troy Brook in Parsippany.

“The Board of Freeholders has made the maintenance of our transportation infrastructure a priority, working to provide a first-class county road and bridge network for our residents and businesses,” Morris County Freeholder Stephen Shaw said. “Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have moved ahead aggressively to ensure that we maintain our status as The Infrastructure County in New Jersey.

County bridge projects included in the county’s 2020 capital budget included potential work on 17 bridges in Butler, Denville, Dover, Jefferson, Mendham Township, Morris Township, Netcong/Stanhope, Randolph, Rockaway Township, Washington Township, and Wharton. Here is a look at current projects:

DOVER:

Work began in January to replace the deck on the East Blackwell Street bridge over the Rockaway River in Dover. East Blackewll Street is closed to traffic at the project site, with a 2.8-mile detour in place until expected completion later this year.

The $1.85 million project includes replacement of the existing 37-year-old bridge deck and both approaches to the heavily traveled span. A temporary pedestrian bridge was installed to maintain walking accessibility to the area throughout the project.

The bridge now being replaced was installed in 1982 and carried more than 18,000 vehicles daily. It was 110-foot long and 58-foot wide with dual two-way traffic lanes and a center turning lane leading traffic towards South Salem Street.

MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP/NETCONG:

Work began in late February on replacement of bi-county Waterloo Road bridge, which spans Netcong and Mount Olive in Morris County and connects with Stanhope in Sussex County.

The $2.3 million replacement project is required because the bridge is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. The project has required closure of Waterloo Road, with a 2.5-mile detour installed for the estimated nine-month project.

The bridge being replaced was a single span steel truss originally built in 1894, which carried about 1,100 vehicles per day. The 18-feet wide and 43-feet long bridge carried two lanes of traffic –one in each direction.

To maintain some of the historic character of the original bridge, the original trusses will be restored and re-installed.

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP: 

Work began this week to replace the Russia Road bridge over Russia Brook in Jefferson Township. The county-owned span will be closed to motor vehicle traffic, with a 5-mile detour in place for up to nine months.

Detours are guiding traffic to alternate routes in both directions, employing Dover-Milton Road, Legion Road, Berkshire Valley Road, and Ridge Road during the project.

The $1.2 million project will replace the existing 41-year-old bridge and both approaches. The bridge being replaced, which carries roughly 275 vehicles daily, was installed in 1979 and has had no major repairs done to it since that time.

Here is the full list of the county’s ongoing, completed, and proposed 2020 bridge projects:

2020 Bridge Replacement/Repair

Bridge Location

Municipality

Bridge #

Work

Roxiticus Road over North Branch of Raritan River Mendham Twp 1400639 Proposed Rehabilitation
Espanong Road over Lake Hopatcong Jefferson 1400819 Rehabilitation Complete
County Route 699 (Berkshire Valley Road) over Rockaway River Jefferson 1400840 Emergency Repairs Complete
Paterson – Hamburg Tpke over Tributary to Pequannock River Butler 1400141 Proposed Replacement
Whitehead Road over Whippany River Morris Twp 1400681 Proposed Replacement
Combs Hollow Road over Tributary to India Brook Randolph 1400714 Proposed Replacement
Combs Hollow Road over India Brook Randolph 1400715 Proposed Replacement
Mountainside Road over India Brook Mendham Twp 1400720 Proposed Replacement
Mill Road over Watnong Brook Morris Township 1400808 Replacement Complete
Palmer Road over Mill Brook Randolph/Denville 1400814 Proposed Replacement
County Route 699 (Berkshire Valley Road) over Tributary to Longwood Lake Jefferson 1400838 Proposed Replacement
Valley Road Rockaway Twp 1400918 Proposed Replacement
Russia Road over Russia Brook Jefferson 1400948 Replacement Underway
West Central Avenue over Tributary to Rockaway River Wharton 1400997 Proposed Replacement
County Route 513 (East Blackwell Street) over Rockaway River Dover 1401015 Replacement Underway
Bank St. Musconetcong River Netcong/Stanhope 1401036 Replacement Underway
Waterloo Road over Musconetcong River Netcong/Stanhope 1401038 Replacement Underway
County Route 517 (Schooley’s Mountain Road) over Tributary of Musconetcong River Washington Twp 1401219 Replacement Complete

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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