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Temporary bridge being installed in Jefferson Township in aftermath of Route 15 bridge closure

The bridge will restore two lanes of traffic while work continues to build an entirely new bridge.

Rob Taub

Jun 7, 2024, 9:29 PM

Updated 13 days ago


A temporary bridge is on the way to replace the recently closed Route 15 bridge in Jefferson Township.
“They’re looking at probably a six-week timeframe to get two lanes back open,” said Jefferson Township Mayor Eric Wilsusen.
For many in Jefferson Township, the temporary bridge is a sigh of relief.
The town had declared a state of emergency earlier in the week as the unexpected closure caused major traffic jams and business impacts. Officials said the Department of Transportation will work 24/7 on the project to get it done ahead of schedule.
“I’d love to see it done yesterday, but I also know that's not reality,” Wilsusen said.
“We talked to the DOT, we convinced them that the temporary bridge was probably the solution, and they did the engineering work quickly,” said New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Anthony Bucco. “When you have something like this, costs are obviously a concern. But, we’ve got to get traffic moving again.”
Affected businesses along Route 15 will have dealt with a partial road closure for almost seven weeks.
“If you know the building is here and you want to get here, you can get here,” said head chef Christen Solomon from The Roasted Breadfruit Smokehouse. “A lot of our business here is just people driving by and stopping in, and that is a no-go.”
For some, the six-week impact comes at a crucial time.
“We've been open for only six or seven months,” Solomon said. “It is a very crucial time for our business, and we were really anticipating the summer being the turning point for it.”
Jefferson Township officials reopened a local traffic lane for business access up to the construction zone, but customers say so far, it’s not enough.
“They’ve got to do something for these people,” said customer Paul Polizzi. “This is ridiculous. It’s a Friday night and there's nobody here. There's something wrong with that. They ought to cut them a tax break of some sort.”

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