WATCHUNG, N.J. (CBS 2) — Many New Jersey residents often find themselves wondering why construction projects take so long in the Garden State.
CBS 2’s Christine Sloan went to get some answers on why New Jersey drivers see construction everywhere.
At the corner of Bonnie Burn Road and Park Avenue in Watchung, drivers said a two-year state Department of Transportation widening project started in January.
“It doesn’t seem to end,” driver Manuela Onacko said. “Traffic is horrendous in the morning and afternoon.”
The congestion was so bad Wednesday that traffic looped around all the way to Route 22.
“I’ve been sitting here for 30 minutes, and it’s like this every day for the last two months,” driver Michael Toro said.
It was the same story on the westbound side of Route 3 in Secaucus, thanks to a project to replace an overpass. The bridge deck being rehabbed at South Summit Avenue over I-80 near Route 17 was also giving drivers headaches.
“The walk is horrible,” Paterson resident Patricia Farrar said. “I’d be scared; I don’t want to get hit by a car.”
The New Jersey Department of Transportation said that because the state is densely populated, they can’t just shut down roads. Instead, they work in phases, and that can take longer.
The project in Watchung has had several phases, including the demolition of a home. The DOT said they’re working as diligently as they can.
Despite delays, the DOT told CBS 2 that all of the projects are scheduled to be completed on time, which means taxpayers won’t have to foot the extra bill.
The benefits, the DOT said, was that when the work is done, there will be safer overpasses and more lanes near Bonnie Burn Road that will ease congestion.
The price tag for the Route 3 project was estimated to be over $17 million, and was expected to be completed toward the end of 2012.