BERNARDSVILLE — Route 202 in the area of the bridge over Sluice Brook in Bernardsville will remain closed as the state begins a project to permanently repair the road, damaged in heavy rains on July 10.

State officials had previously warned the bridge would stay closed "indefinitely."

The project isn't affected by the statewide halt to road projects funded by the Transportation Trust Fund — state officials say that stoppage, put into effect after lawmakers failed to agree to a plan to replenish the failing fund, still allows for emergency work such as the bridge repair.

According to the state Department of Transportation, crews discovered damage to a bridge abutment requiring the immediate closure of the bridge, just south of Douglas Avenue near mile post 34.6.

They determined the best option is to remove the original structure and replace it with a three-sided culvert. The state 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," the DOT said in an announcement.

The structure was built in 1900 and last reconstructed in 1922, the DOT said.

Separate car and truck detours will remain in effect.

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

The project is expected to cost approximately $1 million.

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