New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson announced that the DOT will reopen a westbound travel lane on an I-195 overpass in Mercer County tonight and keep it open until traffic is shifted to a new overpass that is nearing completion.
The move restores all four travel lanes on the overpass, two in each direction.
Work crews will remove the barriers that have blocked traffic from the outermost westbound lane of the overpass starting tonight after the evening rush, officials said. The lane will be reopened well before tomorrow’s morning rush.
Load testing of the beams that support the overpass has revealed that the structure is safe for all vehicles on all lanes, officials said. The DOT closed the outer westbound travel lane on the overpass two weeks ago out of an abundance of caution after a truck traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike crashed and burned directly under the overpass.
A new I-195 overpass, adjacent to the overpass damaged by the truck fire, is being built in connection with the widening of the Turnpike from three lanes in each direction to six lanes at this location. That project is currently scheduled for completion in about two months. The new overpass sustained no damage, officials said. When the new overpass is completed, traffic will be shifted onto it and the damaged overpass will be demolished, in accordance with the widening project plans.
I-195 is the major east-west highway serving all of central New Jersey and is heavily used by state workers who travel to their Trenton offices each day. The peak travel direction is westbound on I-195 in the mornings and eastbound each afternoon. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for construction updates and real-time travel information.