Route 46 bridge in Dover reopens
as ongoing project advances
Progress eliminates detour of highway traffic onto Blackwell Street
(Trenton) - An important milestone in an ongoing project along Route 46 in Dover, Morris County has been reached, allowing a bridge to be reopened and a traffic detour onto local streets to be ended, New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson announced today.
Work on the bridge that carries Route 46 traffic over the Rockaway River and NJ TRANSIT tracks has advanced enough to reopen one lane of traffic in each direction and eliminate a detour that since the summer has been diverting traffic onto West Blackwell Road, East Blackwell Road and Dover-Rockaway Road. Ultimately, the bridge will accommodate two lanes of traffic in each direction.
“This milestone is good news for Dover residents who have shown patience during this period of full closure,” said Commissioner Simpson. “We at NJDOT appreciate the local cooperation and input we have received during this important project to replace a structurally deficient bridge and improve traffic flow along this busy corridor. I am pleased to announce that the unanticipated but necessary bridge closure is now behind us.”
Reopening the bridge also allows NJDOT to eliminate a detour that redirected Route 46 through traffic around Dover.
The $51 million project includes the replacement of two bridges along Route 46 and a new at-grade intersection with Route 15.
“This project is providing sturdy new bridges, improved traffic patterns and less congestion for Dover and Morris County residents,” said state Sen. Anthony R. Bucco.
Route 46 in Dover accommodates about 18,000 vehicles per day.
“The re-opening of this bridge is great news for the small business owners and residents of Dover, and we look forward to continuing progress and project completion,” said Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco. "I would like to also compliment the DOT and the town of Dover for working in a cooperative fashion to avoid what could have been a nightmare traffic situation; instead there was relatively little impact to the community."
“Transportation investments offer long-term benefits, and this project is no exception,” said Assemblyman Michael P. Carroll. “Improving traffic flow through Dover helps strengthen the competitiveness of the downtown business district and improves the quality of life for nearby residents.”
“We are very pleased to have reached this important stage of construction,” said Dover Mayor James Dodd. “This will be a big improvement. However, there still will be impacts to our residential neighborhoods, and we will continue to work with NJDOT to minimize any inconvenience.”
Other components of the project remain in construction, including replacement of the Route 46 bridge over the Morristown & Erie Railroad, the widening and realignment of a 0.6-mile stretch of Route 46 from Pequannock Street to Princeton Avenue, an improved direct connection between Route 46 and Route 15 via an at-grade signalized intersection and left-turn lanes for northbound traffic on Pequannock and North Sussex streets turning onto Route 46 westbound.
Work at Pequannock Street and Route 46 will be starting soon, requiring a traffic detour for northbound Pequannock Street traffic to West Clinton Street to North Sussex Street.
West Blackwell Street has been converted to a two-way road to allow access to Park Heights Avenue from the east. Route 15, which formerly ran beneath Route 46, now dead-ends on the southeast side of Route 46. On the northwest side, Route 15 is being elevated and will feature a signalized, at-grade intersection. A temporary connection and signal is in place.
The project began in July 2008 and is scheduled for completion by early 2012.
NJDOT is utilizing Variable Message Signs in the area to inform motorists of the closure and any further traffic pattern changes. Motorists are encouraged to check www.511nj.org for traffic updates.