Driver says falling pieces of deteriorating bridge damaged his SUV

Posted: Updated:

A Bergen County man says that falling pieces of a deteriorating bridge damaged his SUV and pose a danger to the public.

Yavuz Uzun says that he was driving under the Route 63 Bridge in Fairview Saturday when two pieces of concrete broke off and landed on his vehicle. It was all caught on his dashboard camera. The impact broke the concrete into smaller pieces and cracked his windshield and damaged his sunroof.

“I thought, ‘It’s ice, it’s melting.’ I pull over and realized it’s not ice. It’s a rock and I went back to check, the rock was scattered,” Uzun says.

The bridge is maintained by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Representatives from the department were not available for an interview. But a spokesperson referred News 12 New Jersey to a public notice sent to area residents last fall about a project to replace the bridge.

The notice states that the bridge was originally built in 1931 and that the deck, superstructure and substructure are all in poor condition.

Construction on the bridge will not start until the fall of 2021 and is expected to take at least 2.5 years to complete.

Uzun says that it will be too late by then.

“If you look at the bridge, it’s almost destroyed. It can collapse before that,” he says.

Uzun has filed a police report and says that he plans to contact state officials to ask that they pay for the damage, which he estimates to be about $2,000.

The bridge replacement project is expected to include replacement of the existing bridge, including a wider deck to accommodate wider sidewalks and shoulders. The project will be completed in two parts to allow traffic to continue to flow over the bridge.

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