“Rt. 518 Bridge Work is Essential,” Montgomery Officials tell NJDOT

Posted on July 28, 2016

Like many of our residents and businesses, Montgomery Township elected officials are concerned about the shutdown of the Route 518 bridge project over the Delaware and Raritan canal near Rocky Hill. To recap, work was begun by the New Jersey Department of Transportation in June and then suspended in early July due to the transportation funding stalemate in Trenton. The shutdown occurred after the initial work on the bridge had rendered the bridge impassable, as it remains.

“This state of affairs is simply unacceptable and poses safety risks to our residents and the residents of neighboring towns,” said Mayor Pat Graham.

“With the bridge out there are increased response times for emergency responders, increased traffic throughout Montgomery and increased motor vehicle incidents, particularly at the Griggstown Causeway. All these problems will be exacerbated if the 518 bridge is not repaired before the start of school in September, when traffic in town is expected to increase by a third.”

This state bridge improvement project had been on schedule for a 30-day closure to end on August 5. But with the shutdown, we do not know when the work will be resumed and completed.

On Thursday, July 21, the Montgomery Township Committee passed a resolution calling for the immediate restart of the Rt. 518 bridge work as an “essential” project. Mayor Graham sent a letter to NJDOT Acting Commissioner Richard Hammer with resolution attached urging that the bridge project be added to a limited list of state projects that cannot be suspended due to public health and safety concerns.

Officials and Police in Rocky Hill, Franklin and other nearby townships have also been petitioning the DOT on the matter. Somerset County Freeholders are also working closely with our state legislators to weigh in on our behalf.

The governor and legislature continue to hammer out a compromise on raising the gas tax to support the State Transportation Trust Fund Authority while providing yet-to-be-determined taxpayer relief elsewhere. We urge the end of this stalemate so work can resume on this project and other necessary road work across the state. But whether or not a compromise is reached shortly, the Rt. 518 bridge work must be continued and the bridge reopened posthaste and we will continue our outreach to NJDOT until this is accomplished.

For questions or concerns related to the bridge project, contact NJDOT Office of Communications Regional Manager Meredith Hammond at meredith.hammond@dot.state.nj.us

Source: Montgomery Twp. Committee & Montgomery Twp. Police