Mount Airy Road Closure Expected For a Few More Weeks
But road is open when construction isn't actively underway.
Drivers will need to detour around a closed section of Mount Airy Road for a few more weeks, at least while active construction is underway for a project by the New Jersey American Water Co. to replace water mains south of Olcott Square, according to officials in Bernardsville.
Bernardsville Police Lt. Demmings Hoadley said the road still is closed during the day in certain sections, and should remain so for a few more weeks.
But Valentine warned that through traffic should not be using the road when barriers are up. The road has been open to local traffic and school buses for the duration of the project.
The main installation of the water main was to be completed shortly after the middle of February, according to a memo from New Jersey Jersey American Water Company passed along by John Macdowall, public works director for Bernardsville.
The company was then planning to fill and test the new pipes, and abandon the old main and then switch to the new main to provide service to side streets.
The memo said that even with weather and a second concrete road layer, the project was expected to continue for about three weeks into March, give or take.
Valentine said work hours generally have been 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, but the work hours have fluctuated. During that time, he said traffic — except for school buses and residents who must reach their homes on Mount Airy — should continue following posted detour signs.
He said road barriers generally are pushed to the side of the northern and southern ends of the blocked worksite when the road officially is open to through traffic.
The official detour for cars has been via Pill Hill Road, connecting with Meeker Road and then heading north to the center of Bernardsville.
Trucks are being detoured on a longer route along Whitenack Road, which connects at an intersection with Route 202 further south of Bernardsville, to avoid a narrow bridge on Meeker Road, which also has a steep incline.
The replacement of water mains are the first phase of a larger $5 million road project, that will eventually also include replacing crumbling retaining walls and sidewalks in the area, Tricia Smith, principal highway engineer for Somerset County, said in January. At that time, she said that the phase of the project involving the water company would likely take about two months or longer.
Smith was unavailable for comment on Friday.