The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials announced Route 15 southbound is scheduled to be closed and detoured Saturday January 30 for road work related to emergency repairs to the Weldon Road Bridge over Route 15 in Jefferson, Morris County.

Beginning at 7 a.m.  until 3:30 p.m., NJDOT’s contractor, J. Fletcher Creamer & Son, Inc., will close and detour Route 15 southbound at the exit ramp to Route 181 just past milepost 7.6. The closure is necessary to modify the existing median guide rail in preparation for the construction of a U-turn for emergency vehicles. The U-turn construction will be completed in two phases, with the second phase taking place in a few weeks. The following detour will be in place on Saturday:
Route 15 southbound detour:
• Motorists on Route 15 southbound will be directed to take the exit for Route 181, just past milepost 7.6
• Turn left at the stop sign onto Route 181 south/Woodport Road
• Turn right onto Espanong Road
• Turn left onto Edison Road/CR615
• Take the ramp to Route 15 south

The installation of a U-turn for emergency vehicles is part of the work related to the emergency closure of the Weldon Road Bridge over Route 15. The bridge was closed on December 20 because of cracks in two beams. At the time of the bridge closure, Route 15 southbound was also closed. The left lane on Route 15 southbound was reopened on December 23.

Upon completion of the guide rail work on Saturday, the left lane of Route 15 southbound will be reopened and the right lane will remain closed. The bridge that carries Weldon Road west/Espanong Road east over Route 15, as well as the ramp from Weldon Road west to Route 15 South, remain closed. Route 15 northbound is open and remains unaffected.

The Department is finalizing plans to remove a section of the bridge with the damaged beams. The demolition will require the closure and detour of Route 15 southbound, and is expected to begin in the next few weeks. NJDOT will provide notification before any future closures.

Once the demolition is completed, all lanes on Route 15 southbound will be reopened. The U-turn for emergency vehicles will be completed concurrently while the demolition work is taking place.

Following the removal of the damaged section of the bridge, NJDOT’s structural engineers will continue to evaluate the remaining portion of the Weldon Road Bridge for a few weeks with the goal of reopening the bridge. If the bridge is deemed safe, the Department will reopen the bridge with one lane in each direction, as well as all ramps. A long-term repair is in the process of being designed. The following detours will remain in place until further notice:

Route 15 southbound to Weldon Road east detour:
• Motorists on Route 15 southbound wishing to exit at Weldon Road will be directed to continue on Route 15 south
• Go through the traffic signal at Edison Road and take the U-turn exit just past the fire station
• Bear right onto Edison Road
• Go straight to cross Route 15
• At the next traffic signal, turn left onto Route 15 north
• Take the Weldon Road exit

Route 15 northbound to Route 181 north/Espanong Road west detour:
• Motorists on Route 15 northbound wishing to take the exit for Route 181 north/Espanong Road west will be directed to continue on Route 15 North
• Take the exit for Route 181
• Stay right following signs for Sparta/Lake Mohawk/Business District
• Turn left onto Route 181 south/Woodport Road
• Turn right onto Espanong Road

Weldon Road West to Route 15 South detour
• Motorists on Weldon Road west wishing to take the ramp to Route 15 South will be directed to take the ramp for Route 15 North, which is before the ramp to Route 15 South
• Take Route 15 north to the next exit for Route 181/Sparta/Lake Mohawk/Business District
• Stay right following signs for Sparta/Lake Mohawk/Business District
• Turn left onto Route 181 south/Woodport Road
• Turn right onto Espanong Road
• Turn left onto Edison Road/CR615
• Take the ramp to Route 15 South

The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for construction updates and real-time travel information.

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