BERKELEY HEIGHTS — The question on the mind of westbound Route 78 commuters backed up at Exit 41 because Exit 43 is closed: How much longer?

The NJDOT's short answer: November.

The ramp at Exit 43 to Diamond Hill Road in Berkeley Heights was closed after Ida's drenching rain dropped around 10 inches on Somerset County on Sept. 1. The heavy rain washed out the shoulder of the ramp because of the failure of a large drainage pipe, according to DOT spokesmen Steve Schapiro.

Police Capt. Ernie Schmidt told TAP into Berkeley Heights the pipe was under Diamond Hill Road.

"This exit remains closed as crews continue to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to replace the pipe, and repair the slope and ramp," Schapiro said.

Drivers have gotten off at Exit 41 for Plainfield Ave in order to get to Diamond Hill Road. Traffic backs up quickly on the short off-ramp.

Schapiro said the ramp will reopen sometime in November. Work by the DOT is always dependent on the weather.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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