Next stage of Route 31 bridge project to begin Friday night

The CSX bridge reconstruction project is entering its next phase. Traffic will be shifted on Route 31 starting this weekend.

From about 9 p.m. tonight, Dec. 15, until 8 a.m. Saturday, a contractor is scheduled to shift traffic to the newly completed northbound side of the bridge over the CSX rail line between Hopewell and Pennington.

In order to create a center work zone for the project, Route 31 northbound traffic will be shifted to the east side of the bridge, while southbound traffic will be shifted to the west side of the bridge. Traffic will be in this configuration for about a year. One 11-foot lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction.

Due to the temporary narrow lanes created by the construction work zone, wide-load trucks are prohibited access to the bridge and must use alternate routes.

The federally-funded $13.6 million bridge replacement project is being completed in stages. The project, which started in summer of 2016, is expected to be completed by the fall of 2018.