Roadway surprises delaying some reopenings
The torrential rain that slammed New Jersey Wednesday left many roads flooded but it's not easy to just reopen them once the water recedes. In fact, what the muddy water is hiding is a bigger concern.
In addition to floodwaters, many state highways and secondary roads are still closed also because of downed trees and wires, debris on the roadways and abandoned or disabled vehicles.
At a briefing on Friday, New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said that sinkholes, buckled pavement and pavement that has washed away have all been discovered as the water recedes.
She said that as of Thursday afternoon there were 21 situations that were being assessed by the DOT, including a mechanically stabilized earth wall failure on the ramps from Chimney Rock Road in Bridgewater to Route 22.
"Crews are working 24/7 to get that repaired so the system is fully available to our residents and travelers," Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.
She said the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike were fully opened on Thursday although there could be lane closures for some clean up and minor repairs.
"The DOT is still assessing damage but in some areas it is not possible to evaluate or begin repairs because the water is still too high and we have to wait until it recedes to make determinations," DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro said. "In other areas, NJDOT crews are actively working along with law enforcement, utility crews, and other emergency responders to clear roads and ensure they are safe to reopen."
Gutierrez-Scaccetti said there is also grant money available for communities and counties to apply for on the DOT website.
Roads still closed because of flooding include:
- Hasbrouck Heights — Rt. 17 northbound between Franklin Ave. and Terrace Ave.
- Hasbrouck Heights — Rt. 46 westbound at Route 17
- Franklin (Somerset) — Blackwells Mills Rd. between Millstone River Rd. and Canal Rd.
- Green Brook — Rt. 22 west between Washington Ave. and Warrenville Rd.
- Lawrence — Business Route 1 northbound between Darrah Lane and Route 1
- Middlesex Borough — River Rd. eastbound between Lincoln Blvd. and Maplehurst Lane
- Montville — Bloomfield Ave. between Route 46 and Passaic Ave.
- New Brunswick — Rt. 18 north/south between Pauls Blvd. and George St.
- New Brunswick — Rt. 27 between George St. and River Rd.
- Piscataway — River Rd. between Hoes Lane and Route 18 and between Rivercrest Dr. and Emmet Ct.
- Princeton — Quaker Rd. between Nassau Park Blvd. and Mercer Rd.
- Raritan — Route 206 between Route 202 and Camplain Road
- Somerset — Bellemead Griggstown Rd. between River Rd. and Canal Rd.
- Somerville — Rt. 206 between Somerset St. and Brooks Blvd.
- Trenton — Rt. 1 northbound between Strawberry St. and Rt. 295
- South Bound Brook — Weston Canal Road between Weston Rd. and Edgewood Terrace
- Union — Rt. 22 between Fairway Drive and the Garden State Parkway
- Westfield — Springfield Ave. between Mill Lane and Broad St.