Ribbon Cut On New Route 9
Bridge Over The Raritan River
Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein was joined by local officials today to cut the ceremonial ribbon on the new Route 9 bridge over the Raritan River in Middlesex County.
The ceremony marked the completion of the $60 million span nearly six months ahead of schedule. To help motorists acclimate to new traffic patterns, southbound Route 9 traffic will not officially move off the existing Edison Bridge and on to the new bridge until 1 a.m. Monday, December 17.
“This project exemplifies the NJDOT’s continuing commitment to upgrade our obsolete highway infrastructure and relieve congestion for the nearly 100,000 motorists who use this bridge daily,” Commissioner Weinstein said. “Our contractor, George Harms Construction Co., showed particular grit and determination to complete this project. Coupled with strong support from NJDOT staff, that resilience is why this project was finished six months sooner than planned and within the project budget.”
Weinstein said a $40 million complementary project to rehabilitate the existing Edison Bridge is scheduled to begin construction in the spring. Prior to construction, northbound Route 9 traffic will be shifted off the Edison Bridge and on to the new span. When that project is completed, currently scheduled for late 2003, the existing Edison Bridge will carry three lanes of northbound traffic with shoulders. The new span will carry three lanes of southbound Route 9 traffic with shoulders.
“Relieving congestion on our roads is one of our highest priorities. When work on both projects is complete motorists will experience a much easier trip across the river than they have been used to,” Weinstein added.
The project involved constructing a new 4,000-foot bridge across the Raritan River between the existing Edison Bridge and the Garden State Parkway’s Driscoll Bridge. The new span carries three 12-foot travel lanes, an acceleration lane from the Smith Street entrance ramp and full 10-foot outside shoulders.
George Harms Construction Co. was awarded the contract in June 1999 and began construction in February 2000.
The Edison Bridge was built in the late 1930s. It served the traveling public well over the years, but became functionally obsolete due to increasing traffic volumes and truck loads. It was determined after studies in the early 1990s that a modern, wider structure was needed to carry Route 9 traffic. In order to avoid disrupting the large volumes of traffic which use the Route 9 corridor, the department further determined it was cost effective to build a new span.