The New Jersey Department of Transportation held a public meeting at the on Monday night to inform the community about the Interstate 287 deck replacement project at James Street in August.
Residents had the chance to ask NJDOT representatives about the project and express any concerns they had. The Public Information Center also had two maps about the proposed construction that outlined the traffic detours.
The project, which costs $2,254,000 and is federally funded, will start in August and is anticipated to be completed in May of 2013. James Street will be closed to all traffic during the construction period, and motorists will have to follow detours.
Drivers traveling south on James Street will be directed to take I-287 southbound to the Harter Road exit, which will then continue on Harter Road to the traffic signal at James Street.
The detour for those traveling northbound on James Street will be directed to turn right on South Gate Parkway and enter I-287 northbound. The motorists will take exit 35 off I-287 and take South Street up until they make a left on James Street to return to the closure.
DOT consultant Mike McDonnell said the department did a traffic study to ensure the detour traffic would not have a detrimental effect on the roads. He said the DOT modified the signal timing at some of the intersections in the detour to accommodate the additional traffic.
The James Street bridge, which goes over seven lanes on I-287, is being replaced because of its poor condition from the weather and having no major alterations since it was built over 40 years ago. The bridge has been classified as "structurally deficient."
"The concrete has become deteriorated, and the department maintains it," McDonnell said, "but after a while it's more cost effective to replace it."
Some of the roadwork on the bridge will include asphalt paving, curb reconstruction, and guide rail upgrades. There will be no widening or expansions added to the existing bridge. The road will have the same width with sidewalks, new fencing, and new safety walls.