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After Delays, Construction On Route 3 Bridge Project In New Jersey Recommences

LYNDHURST, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A stalled project to replace two bridges over Route 3, a main commuting route to and from the Lincoln Tunnel in Bergen County, is moving again, albeit slowly.

After months of delays, construction on the Ridge Road bridge project has resumed. It connects Lyndhurst and Rutherford and was supposed to reopen in eight months, but it has been more than a year. Now, the state Department of Transportation says it won't be completed until the fall.

MOREDrivers, Local Residents, Business Owners Fuming Over Endless Bridge Construction On Route 3 In N.J.

"It's like a never-ending project," motorist Michael Schilare told CBS2's Meg Baker on Thursday.

The state said complications related to installing the new beams are to blame. The contractor is in the process of building platforms to support cranes needed to lift the beams into place.

Local officials said the DOT offered little information or traffic assistance.

Route 3 bridge project
(Photo: CBS2)

"I would love to know why this is taking forever, because our traffic issues are still as horrible as they have always been. It still takes 20 to 40 minutes to make a turn at rush hour," Rutherford Councilman Frank Nunziato said.

Businesses in Lyndhurst said the closures have kept customers away and pushed traffic onto residential streets in Rutherford.

"They believe it's hurting everybody, because my lunch, for example, you can see it if you turn the camera you'll see, it's empty," one restaurant owner said.

"A lot of traffic in morning. Sometimes you gotta take the back roads," one Paterson resident said.

Once the beams are in place most of the decking will be installed using precast panels. Other sections must be cast in place, which requires time to cure, Baker reported.

Once the bridge is done, the nearby Orient Way bridge will be closed and reconstructed.

The DOT had said the Orient Way bridge would be completed by the summer of 2020. That timeline has shifted to the fall of 2020.

So get ready for a new bottleneck in an already congested area.

This is a federally funded $26.7 million project.

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