Project update 7-16-18: Project construction work is substantially completed with punch list work to occur in the upcoming weeks. The sidewalk has been opened to the public.
Major construction activity will begin in August 2017 and continue to December 2017. Construction to be performed in 3 stages that will impact traffic in the area:
Stage 1 - Work on the sidewalk and curb will have traffic lanes reduced to one lane with police flaggers, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., August thru September.
Stage 2 - Steel modifications to the bridge truss will require nighttime closure of the roadway so no traffic is on the bridge, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday night to Friday night in October. The road will be open in the daytime.
Stage 3 - A lane shift of traffic to the west side of the roadway at the bridge will provide a work zone on the east side to complete the cantilever bridge work, guide rail and bridge railings. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained. This phase of the work will be done in November.
With the opening of the Montgomery High School in 2006 and the recent development of facilities at Somerset County Skillman Park, there is a growing need for providing a route for pedestrians and bikes along the 601 corridor between Skillman and Blawenburg.
In 2013 Somerset County approached North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) about conducting a Road Safety Audit (RSA) on CR 601 between Skillman Road and CR 518, in anticipation of a significant increase in pedestrian and cyclist activity due to the development of Skillman Park.
Currently there are little to no pedestrian and cyclist amenities along Route 601, a narrow roadway classified as a major collector. The roadway segment being evaluated is neighbored by Montgomery High School and small business district in Blawenburg village. County Route 518 is the main road through Blawenburg, bicycle lanes are in place along the shoulders of CR 518; it is anticipated that these bike lanes will generate a demand for connectivity to the Skillman Park. Additionally high school students currently walk along Route 601 to Blawenburg, especially during the lunch period. And it has be observed that other High School uses, such as the cross country team, access the park thereby having to cross Route 601.
The anticipated increase in pedestrian traffic underlines concerns for safer accommodations for pedestrian and bicycle users. Somerset County is moving forward with implementing many of the recommendations of the RSA by moving the project into design with the goal of having a project ready for construction in 2016 or 2017.
The project design will evaluate the construction of a multi-use path on the east side of Route 601 between Route 518 and the traffic signal to Montgomery High School. The construction of this path will require NJDEP Land Use permits, Right of Way Acquisition, and modifications to County Bridge C0208 to carry the path over Rock Brook.
Maps and Reports
Route 601 Road Safety Audit:
NJ Historic Sites Council Meeting 2-15-17: