Somerset County News

Route 202 Bridge to Remain Closed for Permanent Repairs; Traffic Detoured

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TRENTON, NJ – The state Department of Transportation will make permanent repairs to  the Route 202 bridge over the Sluice Brook in Bernardsville, which required an emergency closure on July 10 because of damage sustained after heavy rains and flooding. 

NJDOT crews discovered damage to a bridge abutment requiring the immediate closure of the bridge, just south of Douglas Avenue near mile post 34.6. After evaluating the damage, it was determined that the best option wa to remove the original structure and replace it with a three-sided culvert.

DOT has begun the process of designing the permanent repair and plans an aggressive construction schedule to reopen the bridge as soon as possible to minimize inconvenience to the motoring public. 

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The structure was built in 1900 and last reconstructed in 1922. It is inspected every four years as part of NJDOT’s Minor Bridge Inspection Program, a statewide program that inspects bridges and structures less than 20 feet in length. Federal regulations require bridges greater than 20 feet in length to be inspected every two years. 

Separate car and truck detours will remain in effect as follows:

Cars Detour:

Route 202 southbound

Traffic will be directed to turn left on Meeker Road, then right on Whitenack Road and left back onto Route 202 southbound

Route 202 northbound

Traffic will be directed to turn right onto Whitenack Road, then left onto Meeker Road, and right back onto Route 202 northbound

Truck Detour:

Route 202 southbound

Traffic will be directed to turn left on Mt. Airy Road, which becomes Whitenack Road and then left back onto Route 202 southbound

Route 202 northbound

Traffic will be directed to turn right onto Whitenack Road, which becomes Mt. Airy Road right back onto Route 202 northbound

A three-sided culvert is a precast, u-shaped structure that can be used to replace a deteriorated bridge. This method will allow NJDOT to work as quickly as possible while ensure the safety of the motoring public and the longevity of the replacement.

The project is expected to cost approximately $1 million. The suspension of Transportation Trust Fund projects, which took effect  July 8 was done in order to ensure NJDOT has funds available to respond to unexpected emergency work.

Variable message signs are being utilized throughout the project limits to provide advance notification to motorists.

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, www.511nj.org,

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