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Bridge Replacement Bumped to August – For Now

Project being held up by utility companies, county said.

The much-anticipated Middle Valley Road Bridge replacement project, originally , won’t start until mid-August at the earliest, according to the Morris County Department of Engineering.

“We’re experiencing significant utility delays,” said one of Morris County’s engineers, Roslyn Khurdan. “Specifically, we’re waiting for Jersey Central Power & Light.”

The utility lines spanning the bridge and surrounding areas need to be moved elsewhere before construction can begin so they are not in the way of workers trying to complete the project.

Damaging storms in southern New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland earlier this summer required local crews to leave the area and assist in those states, Khurdan said, which bumped back the utility work here.

“As of Tuesday (July 17), JCP&L said it would be another three weeks or so until they could finish their part,” Khurdan said. “If that’s on target we’ll be able to start in mid-August.”

Currently fiber optic company Century Link is doing its part in the area to replace its utility lines, Khurdan said.

Prior to the July start date, an April or May, then June start date was originally considered. The length of the project is expected to last six to eight months.

Once the project starts there will not be any access over the bridge from either direction. Advisory signs with a detour route will be posted two weeks prior to the project starting to alert motorists.

The detour route is Middle Valley Road at the Califon Road intersection in Washington Township, to Pleasant Grove Road in Lebanon Township, to Sliker Road, to County Route 513.

ValleyGirl July 20, 2012 at 12:23 AM
This project is "a bridge to nowhere". It's a perfect example of how the state waste money. The proposed bridge is over designed for the road it will service. Considering the start date has changed several times, I am not hopeful that once the project begins that it will be completed on schedule.
Pat Leone July 20, 2012 at 03:49 AM
I agree with ValleyGirl...it seems to me that the bridge that is there now does not need to be replaced with a bigger bridge, the road itself is so limiting, what good is a new bridge going to do?
Bill Leavens July 20, 2012 at 01:07 PM
It's unfortunate that because of funding issues, the bridge is being rebuilt to AASHTO standards that are a boon for civil engineers and contractors. The County can get State funding if the bridge is built to standards that are inappropriate for the area. The current Bailey bridge is an ugly relic from the VietNam war. However, the narrow bridge serves to calm traffic in the area and that isn't a bad thing. Middle Valley is on the edge of a rural area and people who live in the country expect that they might have to slow down on narrow roadways for opposing traffic. This is a perfect example of good engineering that does not fit the local conditions. Replace the bridge if it is failing. But replace it with something much less expensive that fits the context of Historic Middle Valley. We don't need a 50 mph highway bridge a few hundred feet from the Patriots' Path crossing.
LV Resident July 20, 2012 at 01:08 PM
I tend to also agree with the comments above. I frequently travel over this bridge, and want it to be save of course, for myself and others that live on Middle Valley Rd. I'd be curious to hear from an unbiased expert as to whether this bridge is unsafe or not.
Hookerman July 20, 2012 at 01:23 PM
"The current Bailey bridge is an ugly relic from the VietNam war." Huh????
Bill Leavens July 20, 2012 at 01:30 PM
no-name Hookerman, unless I am wrong - and I have been proven wrong before, that bridge was military surplus left over from the armed conflict the US was engaged in during the '60's in Southeast Asia.
stacie bohr July 20, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Why do people care so much what your name is?
Bill Leavens July 20, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I'm willing to put my name on my comments. It lends some credibility to my argument. Maybe. Or why did you use your name? This is a real conversation in the community, yes?
stacie bohr July 20, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I use my name because I choose to. Some folks are simply more private and choose not to. To each his own.
cv July 20, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Not for nothing with all the sickos out there some people are afraid to use their own names.
stacie bohr July 20, 2012 at 02:35 PM
To be honest with you, cv....I've been thinking of changing mine for that reason. I have no shame in my opinions but people get crazy on here.
Elizabeth Kubik July 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Hmmmmmmm, Bailey Bridges were used in World War II weren't they? Quick to put up and strong enought for tanks? They probably did use them in Viet Nam, but i really think they were developed in England for the other war. I don't even know, is that really the type of bridge that's down there now? Quite frankly, the one they want to replace it with that's shown in the diagram looks like a Bailey Bridge to me! Shows you what I know~~ kim kubik
Elizabeth Kubik July 20, 2012 at 10:10 PM
I'm more concerned about the fact that the delay is being caused by JCP&L. It seems like our electric company's resources are always tied up elsewhere. I see their trucks all over the place, but never where they're needed! ~~kim k.

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