Sunday, April 14, 2024

Public Input Sought Through February 27 – State Replacement of Blairstown’s Jacksonburg Creek Bridge in 2027 to Cause Major Route 94 Detours

A multi-million dollar bridge reconstruction project in Blairstown Township will reduce traffic to one lane on Route 94, require detours and temporarily close Jacksonburg Road starting in fall 2027.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) says the current, two-span bridge on Route 94 over Jacksonburg Creek was constructed in 1931 and is nearing the end of its service life. 

Officials have put forth a $14 million-dollar, 22-month project to replace the bridge, located less than 1,000 feet from the Blairstown Township municipal building.

NJDOT’s proposed project is to build a replacement bridge consisting of a 12-foot-wide lane and 10-foot-wide shoulder in both directions. The work includes roadway realignment at the Jacksonburg Road–Route 94 intersection, along with guardrail replacement and the construction of a storm water detention basin. 

Public Comment Sought

The Jacksonburg Creek Bridge replacement project is currently in the preliminary engineering phase, prompting NJDOT officials to launch an online Virtual Public Information Center (PIC)

Transportation officials urge residents, officials, businesses and the general public to log on, view details and submit comments about the Jacksonburg Creek bridge replacement until Tuesday, February 27. It includes a narrated slide presentation, which is also available to watch on YouTube, plus transcripts and other relevant information.

“After the presentation, you will have an opportunity to submit comments and questions to the NJDOT,” officials said through a press release. “Property owners with rental units are advised that tenants are also invited and encouraged to participate.”

The Road Ahead

The NJDOT PIC slide presentation says the construction project to replace the Jacksonburg Creek Bridge will reduce Route 94 to one lane near Dollar General, requiring a detour for large trucks and temporary nighttime detours on Jacksonburg Road.

Planners have divided the overall construction project into two phases. Stage 1 involves building the northbound side of the bridge on Route 94 and laying accompanying pavement, plus widening the nearby Blairstown municipal building driveway to accommodate the large truck detour route. 

“During construction, there will be insufficient room for large trucks on Jacksonburg Road to turn right onto Route 94 southbound,” says the slide presentation transcript. “The large trucks will need to follow a detour route on Route 94 northbound and turn around in the Blairstown municipal complex to get access to Route 94 southbound.”

During Stage 2, the southbound side of the bridge will be built as the pavement is resurfaced on both Route 94 south and Jacksonburg Road. After that, planners intend to construct a stormwater detention basin and plant the riparian zone mitigation. 

A cultural resource survey was performed as part of the planning process, including an archaeological survey of the project area that did not yield any intact sites.

“The existing Route 94 bridge was not considered eligible for listing in the National or State Registers of Historic Places,” according to the online project presentation.

Planners added that the project in its current state would not have adverse effects on nearby historic properties, including Morgan Manor, which NJDOT says is eligible for listing on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. NJDOT asks residents, businesses, local residents and the general public to log on to its Virtual Public Information Center to view the bridge replacement proposal and submit any feedback by February 27, 2024.

Morgan Gardiner
Morgan Gardiner, Contributing Writer

Morgan Gardiner is a journalist and broadcaster based in Northwest New Jersey. Born and raised in Warren County, Gardiner graduated from McGill University and was previously an on-air newscaster, reporter and producer for WRNJ-AM. When not chasing down a news story, Gardiner fills his time with books, family, friends and traveling.