New Wittpenn Bridge opens this weekend, sort of; don’t expect it to be all smooth sailing just yet …

The new Wittpenn Bridge opens this weekend, but don’t expect it to be smooth sailing — or driving — at first. Google Street View

The Route 7 Wittpenn Bridge between Jersey City and Kearny will open this weekend, but to get there, there will be lane closures and traffic stoppages to shift traffic onto the new span over the Hackensack River. And it won’t be all that simple to navigate the roads, especially when traveling into Jersey City from Kearny — so you’ll want to pay close mind to what is about to follow.

Beginning at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 1 until 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, the NJDOT is scheduled to close one lane on Route 7 eastbound in Kearny before the bridge, and one lane on Routes 1&9 Truck southbound after the on-ramp from Route 139 westbound in Jersey City. In addition, one lane on Routes 1&9 Truck northbound is scheduled to be closed starting near Broadway.

After 11 p.m., there will be temporary stoppages on Route 7 and Route 1&9 Truck in both directions. The closures and temporary stoppages are necessary to remove barrier curb to shift traffic onto the new bridge, as well as to make adjustments to traffic signals at Newark Avenue in Jersey City.

Once the new bridge is open, Routes 1&9 Truck southbound traffic will go straight onto the new bridge, without having to take the loop ramp as required now. The existing ramp will remain as the exit for Routes 1&9 Truck southbound traffic. For the next two months, Routes 1&9 southbound and Route 7 westbound will be restricted to one lane prior to the split of Routes 1&9 Truck southbound and Route 7.

Route 7 eastbound traffic will be shifted to the left onto the new Wittpenn Bridge. The new Route 7 westbound flyover ramp to Fish House Road southbound will be opened. In the next two or three weeks, the Route 7 eastbound exit to Fish House Road southbound in Kearny will open. (It was originally reported this might not happen until 2022.)

The new ramps from Fish House Road to Route 7 eastbound will remain closed as work continues to complete them. Fish House Road traffic wishing to take Route 7 eastbound will be directed to Route 7 westbound and U-turn, which is the current traffic pattern.

The Route 7 eastbound ramp to Newark Avenue and Route 1&9 Truck southbound will be closed and detoured for approximately one year as a new ramp is constructed. The following detour will be in place:

Route 7 eastbound traffic will be directed to a new ramp to St. Paul’s Avenue
Turn left onto St. Paul’s Avenue
Turn left onto the Duffield Avenue ramp to Route 1&9 Truck southbound

With traffic now using the new bridge, demolition of the old bridge will begin. In order to safely complete the demolition work, there will be overnight and weekend closures of the new bridge. NJDOT will provide information before any future lane closures.

 

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.