Medford, NJ bridge closes, Route 78 exit to reopen soon
There's bad news and good news for drivers on two New Jersey roads.
The Jackson Road Bridge over Birchwood Lakes in Medford was closed Tuesday by the Burlington County Engineer's Office because of unsafe structure issues discovered during an inspection.
The bridge’s capacity was immediately reduced to 6 tons by the county but was completely closed due to non-compliance with the order. Engineers are planning out the repairs, and once materials arrive the work should be done in "several weeks."
The bridge previously underwent significant repairs in July, 2004 following damages from a flood.
What about Exit 43 from Route 78 west?
The New Jersey Department of Transportation expects the work that has closed Exit 43 for Diamond Hill Road on Route 78 westbound in Somerset County since Sept. 1 in the aftermath of Ida's drenching rains to be finished in the next week or two.
"The remaining work includes final preparations so we can mill and pave the ramp, as well as the installation of guide rail and fencing," DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro told New Jersey 101.5.
The 10 inches of rain dropped by Ida washed out the shoulder of the ramp because of the failure of a large drainage pipe.
Drivers have used the next exit, Exit 41 for Plainfield Avenue, in order to get to Diamond Hill Road in Berkeley Heights. Traffic backs up quickly on the short off-ramp.