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GSP Watchung Ave. Bridge Project Nears Completion

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority will complete all construction to the new $12 million Watchung Avenue Bridge by the end of the week.

 

Commuters who pass through the Garden State Parkway's Exit 151 interchange will finally see an end to construction delays. 

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority will complete all work to the new Watchung Avenue Bridge in Bloomfield by the end of the week. The $12 million project, which is an interchange for north- and southbound traffic on the GSP, began in April 2011. 

The final paving of both east- and westbound lanes on Watchung Avenue was completed this past weekend, and traffic remains open in both directions this week. 

The project is “essentially completed,” said Jamal Mahmood, resident engineer for the project. He added there is only “minor stuff” to be done, such as lane stripping and putting signs in place. 

The New Jersey Turnkpike Authority decided to construct a single bridge to replace the two former bridges that carried traffic in opposite directions on Watchung Avenue. According to Mahmood, the previous bridges were too low, dilapidated and in poor condition. 

The new bridge is wider and can handle more cars, said Mahmood, so there will be less congestion on Watchung Avenue. There are also sidewalks going in either direction with a high, inward curling fence running along the sides of the bridge. 

Modern traffic lights were placed at the four intersections around the bridge. Mahmood said the new traffic signals are “updated” and “all connected,” which will allow “traffic to move more freely.” 

The wider bridge also has two turning lanes to enter the parkway in either direction, which will also cut down on queues at traffic lights. 

The interchange at Exit 151 had remained open during construction, with one lane of traffic in each direction. 

jim December 04, 2012 at 01:10 PM
What a lame pork laden project. The past few days no one has been working on that bridge. This has been the norm for years. Typical of a government contract. License to steal.
Joseph David December 04, 2012 at 04:35 PM
12 Million dollars for ONE small bridge?!? And we wonder why taxes and cost of living are so high in NJ!?!
Suej333 December 04, 2012 at 05:30 PM
And it was only about 11 months late! I take that bridge every day and there have been so many days when no one at all was present there, while traffic backed up along Watchung Ave. I'd like to have a job where it takes twice as long and costs twice as much to do what I'd said I'd do, and I don't have to show up half the time!

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