SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Montgomery Township officials, are fighting a proposed two-week closure of Route 206 for the reconstruction of the bridge over Crusers Brook, which is located near the Montgomery Township Municipal Complex.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation is pressuring local and county officials for the closure of the bridge over Crusers Brook to Route 206, in opposition of the contract documents and specifications, which stipulate that the project be completed in a staged format that allows for unimpeded two-way traffic during the entire construction period.

In the interest of public safety, it is the position of the Freeholder Board that the NJDOT not be allowed to close Route 206, for any period of time, for construction.

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Route 206 is a major arterial thoroughfare that rarely sees a decline in vehicular traffic, even in summer months.  The freeholders have serious concerns that Montgomery Township Police, Fire and EMS will be directly affected by the road closure as their respective bases of operations are all within, or directly adjacent to, the construction zone.

Further, the proposed detours would shift significant traffic to the adjacent roadway network of County Route 601 (Belle Mead-Blawenburg Road), County Route 630 (Belle Mead Griggstown Road), County Route 518 (Georgetown Franklin Turnpike) and County Route 533 (Millstone River Road); all of which are two lanes, with limited or no shoulders.

“Pushing the southbound traffic from Route 206 onto local roads in Montgomery is an awful idea,” said Freeholder Mark Caliguire, a Montgomery resident. “It’s not safe, and the through traffic, including significant truck traffic, will cause real problems in our town.  The state Department of Transportation needs to stick with the deal they made with Montgomery long ago – keep this major road open in both directions.”

Montgomery Township Deputy Mayor Christine Madrid said, “We need the state Department of Transportation to finish the job they started, the way it was supposed to be finished, without causing gridlock on our local streets.”