ROXBURY, NJ - For Roxbury residents who must drive Route 206 through Mount Olive, what could be worse than the daily rush-hour clogs? How about 10 days of detours while the state fixes a bridge?

That nightmare is about to become reality as the highway through Flanders will be closed on 8 p.m. July 6 and will stay that way until a bridge is replaced - a project expected to last 10 days, according to the state Department of Transportation (DOT). The road will be closed between Four Bridges Road/Hillside Road and Bartley-Chester Road/Hillery Drive, said the state.

The road shut-down is needed so a DOT contractor, Konkus Corp., can fix the bridge that spans Drakes Brook. 

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"The $2.8 million dollar federally-funded project will replace the deck and approaches to the bridge, as well as make substantial repairs to the superstructure," said the DOT. "State inspection determined that the bridge deck was in poor condition and required replacement."

Some details about the bridge's condition can be found here.

The state said it is doing all it can to minimize the duration of the road closure. "NJDOT is using Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques to reduce the time it will take to replace the bridge," it said in a statemet. "The project was designed in three stages to minimize effects to traffic. The project is in its final stage and the only one that required a full road closure."

The DOT said it chose July 9 to start the job because it coincides "with the end of the West Morris Central High School semester and the beginning of the high school summer sports program" and will not interfere with the July 4 holiday."

Although the road will be closed for 10 days, work on the bridge will continue into early August, said the DOT.

The closure will affect several businesses, including The Plant Detectives. "We're extremely active right now," said Plant Detectives owner Art Laster. "I don't want to lose that momentum ... I'm sure they wouldn't be doing this if they didn't have to."

He said local northbound traffic to his business, including shipments, will be allowed to proceed up Route 206 to get to Plant Detectives, which is situated south of the bridge. Southbound customers will have to take the detours.

There will be separate detours for cars and trucks. The DOT provided the following description of detours that will be put in place during the highway's closure:

Car Detour southbound

·         Cars traveling on Route 206 southbound will be directed to turn right onto Bartley Chester Road/CR 625

·         Left onto Bartley Road at the temporary traffic signal

·         Left onto South Four Bridges Road at the temporary traffic signal to Route 206

 Car Detour northbound

·         Cars traveling on Route 206 northbound will be directed to turn left onto Four Bridges Road

·         Right onto Bartley Road/CR 625 at the temporary traffic signal

·         Right onto Bartley Chester Road/CR 625 to Route 206 at the temporary traffic signal

 Truck Detour southbound

·         Trucks traveling on Route 206 southbound will be directed to turn right onto Bartley Flanders Road/CR 612

·         Right onto Bartley Road/CR 625 at temporary traffic signal

·         Left onto South Four Bridges Road at temporary traffic signal to Route 206

Truck Detour northbound

·         Trucks traveling on Route 206 northbound will be directed to turn left onto Four Bridges Road

·         Right onto Bartley Road/CR 625 at the temporary traffic signal

·         Left onto Bartley Flanders Road/CR 612 at temporary traffic signal

·         Right onto 613 to Route 206