8-week Route 1 ramp closure postponed by weather
LAWRENCE (Mercer) — The closure of the southbound ramp from Route 95 North/295 South to Route 1 has been postponed.
State Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Israel said the threat of snow over the weekend is to blame for delaying the start of a $4 million project that is expected to close the ramp for eight weeks. The work scheduled for Saturday would have closed ramps to both the northbound and southbound ramps for prep work.
"The forecast keeps changing so situations like that we just push work back to be safe," Israel said.
Meteogologist Dan Zarrow said anything from 0-8 inches could fall on Saturday because of uncertainty in the track of the storm.
"At the moment, we are leaning toward zero. (Leaning heavily towards nothing for Central and North Jersey.) However, we can’t ignore previous model runs that have suggested up to 8 inches of snowfall along New Jersey’s southern coast."
A new date to start the project has not been set meaning Monday's commute will be a normal one. "This time of the year its always tough as weather develops quickly. We'll have to see next week what it looks like."
Many Mercer County commuters were taken by surprise at the announcement of the work as so close to the actual start date.
"It's pretty standard we inform the public and drop a release the week of because of weather. We're never sure of the exact timing. We want to be accurate as to when it's going to happen. We had electronic message boards out for two weeks informing the public of the coming closures," Israel said.
Cathy Ricatto, who works at Carnegie Center on Route 1, wasn't among the commuters complaining loudly.
"How can one get angry or mad for something that is being taken care of for our safety?" she said Thursday. "DOT is just carrying out their responsibilities of taking care of the roads. We complain" 'Look at these roads, why don’t they take care of these roads?' Then when DOT takes action, people complain about trying to find alternate routes. Can’t please everyone."
The project will include the replacement of a deck and resurfacing of the southbound ramp only as part of preventive maintenance.
“The DOT goes through and services all our bridges over time and it’s this bridge’s time,” Israel said.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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