P.O. Box 600
Contact: Mike Horan
RELEASE: March 3, 2004
Lettiere highlights start of long-awaited
Route 1/9 bridge replacement
Project addresses safety/congestion issues; brings jobs into region
(RAHWAY) – Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere, joined by state and local officials, today broke ground on the long-awaited Route 1/9 Rahway River Bridge replacement project – highlighting safety and congestion issues associated with this vital river span.
The $20.5 million, federally funded project will address structural deficiencies and traffic issues associated with the existing bridge, which was built in 1929, while also replicating the bridge’s historic aesthetics. Union Paving and Construction Company, a local, county-based business, was selected to complete the job that will take approximately two years. The bridge replacement project is part of an overall $270 million investment to improve the Route 1 corridor from Interstate 287 in Middlesex County to the Route 1/9 Bridge.
“This project is just another example of how Governor McGreevey and the Department of Transportation are building a better New Jersey,” said Lettiere. “With the help of our delegation in Washington, we are following through on our commitment to the residents and commuters of this region to improve safety and ease congestion on our state highway system. We also have the benefit of utilizing a local company that knows this area well.”
Union Paving will construct a new six-lane bridge over the Rahway River on a new alignment adjacent to the existing bridge structure. The new construction is the first phase of a two-phase plan to improve a 1.5-mile stretch of Route 1/9 – increasing safety and relieving congestion that is experienced daily by commuters and residents.
“This long-awaited project will go a long way in making this highway safer and more efficient through Rahway,” said Mayor James Kennedy. “It’s good news for property owners in the area who deserve better access to and from their homes and workplaces, and good news for motorists who will not have to traverse an 80-year-old highway handling 21st Century traffic.”
Throughout the project, NJDOT officials worked closely with the New Jersey’s Historic Preservation Office to develop a bridge plan that incorporates aesthetic features such as ornamental lighting, decorative parapets and concrete colored steel to match the character of the old bridge.
Lettiere was also joined at today’s ground breaking by State Senator Nick Scutari and Transportation Committee member, Assemblywoman Linda Stender.
“Residents and commuters have relied on this bridge for many years as a critical Union County river crossing,” said Stender. “With the bridge reaching the end of its service life, this is a wise investment of transportation dollars - addressing not only the issue of congestion, but also the safety of New Jersey’s motoring public.”
“Thirty seven percent of New Jersey's bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The construction of this new bridge is an example of how the federal government and the State of New Jersey can come together with the funds necessary to help improve our bridge infrastructure, one bridge at a time,” said U.S. Senator Jon Corzine. “I look forward to working with Governor McGreevey and Commissioner Lettiere to continue to secure funds necessary to improve all of New Jersey's roads and bridges.”
“I have worked tirelessly in the past for funding important programs like the Federal Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacement Program, and I am happy to report Senator Corzine and I are at it again – winning fights in the latest Highway funding bill," said U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg. "For all too long, New Jersey neglected its many bridges. I am proud to partner with Governor McGreevey and Commissioner Lettiere while we work towards finding long term solutions to the problems that have been handed to our citizenry by past administrations.”
The second phase of the Route 1/9 improvement will rebuild the old 1/9 bridge as a connector ramp and widen and realign Route 1 from Production Way in Woodbridge Township north through the City of Rahway to East Lincoln Avenue in the City of Linden. The improvements will provide three lanes and shoulders or auxiliary lanes in each direction along this stretch of highway.