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Mt. Airy Road Open When Construction Not in Progress

Bernardsville Chief warns that vehicles should not be passing through when construction is actively underway.

A stretch of Mount Airy Road between Prospect Street in Bernardsville and West Oak Street has been open to traffic when continuing construction is not in progress — but Bernardsville Police Chief Kevin Valentine warned that through traffic should not be using the road when barriers are up.

Although the construction on the road officially began on Jan. 14, the road has generally been open on weekends and after-hours or when inclement weather disrupts a project by the New Jersey American Water Co. to replace decades-old water mains in the area.

Valentine said work hours generally have been 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, but the time can fluctuate. 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.

During construction hours, however,

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.

Neither Smith nor borough officials were available to offer an update on the current anticipated completion date of the water main replacements.

During construction, detour signs are place at the road's intersection with West Oak Street and Pill Hill Road in Basking Ridge at the southern end of the project. Vehicles are supposed to head down Pill Hill to Meeker Road, and then access Route 202 north into downtown Bernardsville.

Truck drivers are supposed to follow a longer detour route along Whitenack Road to Route 202.

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