Construction has begun for a major roadway rehabilitation project over a seven-mile section of Interstate 287 in Morris County.
According to a NJDOT statement, the $27.4 million project is being financed by the federal government. The plan is to improve I-287 from just south of Morristown's South Street underpass to the Littleton Road overpass in Parsippany—which, according to department spokesperson Tim Greeley, means an overlap with work that began last month on Littleton Road and Interstate 80.
The project also includes repairing and resurfacing seven individual bridge decks on I-287, replacing bridge decks over the Whippany River in Hanover, upgrading guide rails and installing high-tech message signs and traffic cameras along the interstate.
According to officials, the project—slated for completion in fall 2014—will extend the lifespan of the roadway by more than 15 years and the new bridge decks by 50 years.
Greeley told Patch the I-287 and Littleton Road/I-80 projects are being coordinated so that they should not impact or interfere with each other.
He added that department communications continue with Lake Parsippany area residents who have been outspoken regarding their concerns about the Littleton work and a construction staging site that some residents say is making the roadway dangerous and potentially deadly.
"We did hold our Public Information Center for the I-80 project in Parsippany last Thursday," Greeley said. "We had close to 40 or so attendees and [the meeting] went well."
In answer to citizen concerns, Greeley said that northbound Littleton Road "has been restriped to provide a shoulder for safer access into [and] out of the residential area near the construction staging area."
Littleton Road corridor resident Mary Purzycki told Patch a different story, noting that the state denied citizen requests for a review of ramp conditions at the interchanges of Littleton Road/Route 202, Cherry Hill Road, Kingston Road and I-80.
"I'm being totally ignored," she said. "I invited Tim Greeley to come and talk with me and three other residents, and I've heard nothing. I haven't gotten a response from anybody."
Purzycki said high traffic and visibility problems still exist along the corridor, for instance, at Littleton Road's I-80 entrance leading to Cherry Hill Road.
"If they were to move the driveway down to Marcella Road, they would improve visibility a lot," she said, adding that for public safety's sake, the state DOT should do an in-depth study of the Littleton Road area.
However, Purzycki said she doubts that the DOT will even listen to her ideas.
"According to Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, the DOT ignored her too," she said. "This department is quite a crew. They think they have traffic now—wait until they see what it's going to be. Holy moley!"
The department has announced that drivers will feel some impact during the I-287 rehab as well, including single and double-lane closures during overnight and off-peak hours and periodic, off-peak closures of interchange ramps being repaved utilizing periodic, off-peak closures with detours.