PHILLIPSBURG, NJ – A six-week-long roadway joints repair project is scheduled to begin next week along 4.2 miles of I-78 that the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission owns and maintains on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River.
The work is planned to take place primarily during overnight hours, when traffic volumes are lowest along the busy highway segment that connects North Jersey overseas ports with Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley warehouse centers.
The project will address a variety of deteriorated asphalt joints along I-78 between U.S. Route 22/NJ Route 173 and the Commission’s I-78 Toll Bridge. The highway segment crosses through portions of three Warren County, N.J. communities: Pohatcong Township, Alpha Borough, and the Town of Phillipsburg.
Other anticipated project work is pothole repairs, reinstallation of removed raised pavement markings, and line re-striping.
The work will be performed under the Commission’s Job Order Contract program, which allows for procurement of diverse contractors for smaller-scale projects that would not traditionally attract a competitive bidding process.
Anticipated Travel Restrictions
Beginning during overnight hours Monday, July 31, a series of lane and/or shoulder closures are expected to be implemented.
Westbound overnight lane closures (up to two of three lanes closed) will occur 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. (next day) Mondays through Thursdays. Westbound work also can occur 10 p.m. Fridays to 8 a.m. Saturdays.
Eastbound overnight lane closures (up to two of three lanes closed) will occur 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. (next day) Mondays through Thursdays. Eastbound work also can occur 8 p.m. Fridays to 6 a.m. Saturdays.
Motorist impacts – if any – should be brief and minor. The project’s lane closures are currently anticipated to end in early September.
Comprehensive Rehabilitation Planned for 2024
This will mark the fifth consecutive year that the Commission is conducting a short-term repair project to address pothole-prone asphalt joints along its New Jersey I-78 segment.
A more permanent fix is in the planning pipeline for execution in 2024. In May, the Commission hired an engineering firm to design a broader rehabilitation of the New Jersey I-78 segment. That project also is expected to include upgrades to the Commission’s security camera network along I-78 in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and at the I-78 Toll Bridge.
The Commission’s 4.2-mile-long New Jersey I-78 highway segment in particular ranks as the agency’s most geologically challenging to maintain. Large sections of the New Jersey approach traverse a karst limestone terrain that is prone to sink holes and other instances of subsidence. The combination of heavy traffic volumes and unsound topography causes cracking and shifting of the highway segment
The corridor is the Commission’s busiest, carrying a daily average of 63,500 vehicles in 2022. The bridge ranks among the nation’s most frequently used truck crossings.