Route 80 Westbound to Remain Closed
Until at Least 3pm to Prevent Reoccrrence of Rutting
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will keep the westbound lanes of Route 80, near Exit 39, closed until at least 3 pm today. Traffic will continue to be diverted onto Route 46.
Transportation officials closed the westbound lanes Thursday evening to repair five inch ruts that developed as a result of high temperatures and the pounding from vehicular traffic.
To prevent a reoccurrence of rutting, transportation officials will keep the highway closed until at least 3 pm today. This morning, NJDOT maintenance crews and contractors will drill holes into the newly-paved asphalt surface to allow venting so the heat trapped below the surface can dissipate.
Surface temperatures can easily reach more than 130 degrees under the current conditions. The combination of new asphalt, high temperatures and traffic does not allow the new roadway to solidify. Transportation officials will continue to apply water to the roadway to cool down the asphalt.
State Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein said: "While we regret having to close I-80 westbound again, and inconveniencing motorists in the process, we must do so to prevent the potential of severe rutting of the surface and the need to close down the highway in the future."
Transportation officials will monitor the roadway's condition throughout the weekend.