SOMERVILLE, NJ - Somerset County will oversee a study of options for rehabilitating or replacing the Picket Place (CR 567) Bridge in Branchburg and Hillsborough townships.

The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority approved $350,000 in federal funds for the study at its March meeting.

“This study is an important first step in determining how to address the Picket Place Bridge,” said Somerset County Freeholder Director and NJTPA Chair Peter S. Palmer. “The bridge is an important connector across the Raritan River and needs to be improved or replaced.”

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Funding for the study is provided through the Local Concept Development Phase of the NJTPA's Fiscal Year 2018 Local Capital Project Delivery Program.  The program awards grants to NJTPA member counties and cities to investigate all aspects of a project, including environmental, right-of-way access, design and feasibility issues. The NJTPA board approved a combined $2.76 million for studies in FY 2018 and FY 2019 at its March 13 meeting in Newark.

The Picket Place Bridge crosses the South Branch of the Raritan River at the border of Branchburg and Hillsborough townships. The two-lane, 355-foot-long bridge provides connections to other major roadways, including Pleasant Run Road (CR 667), Amwell Road (CR 514) and Route 202.

Built in 1979, the bridge is classified as structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. The concrete is deteriorating, resulting in rusting of the reinforcing steel substructure.

Local Concept Development is the first phase of the Local Capital Project Delivery Program, which guides projects from initial concepts all the way to construction. During the initial phase, the county will identify and compare reasonable alternatives and strategies and select a preferred alternative.

Projects that complete this initial investigative work may be eligible for eventual construction with federal funds. More information on the program can be found at www.njtpa.org