The New Jersey Department of Transportation will open the new Route 7 eastbound ramp to Fish House Road and U-turn to Route 7 westbound Friday morning. But don’t get too excited — the Wittpenn Bridge will close this weekend as demolition begins on the old span.
Beginning at 10 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28, the NJDOT is scheduled to begin work to remove barriers and prepare the roadway to open the new just before the Wittpenn Bridge.
By 5 a.m., Friday, Oct. 29, the new ramp and the U-turn will be open, providing direct access for trucks and other vehicles coming from the New Jersey Turnpike and I-280 to businesses in South Kearny.
The existing ramp was closed in March 2018 to allow for the construction of several new ramps and the western approach to the new Wittpenn Bridge, which was opened to traffic Oct. 1.
This will be news to the ears of first responders who will no longer need to go through Jersey City or on the NJ Turnpike to access incidents in South Kearny. Kearny Police Chief George King, when the bridge was to open, spoke of his excitement of being able to more easily access Industrial Kearny.
“This is great news. I am so happy to hear it’s opening Oct. 1,” King said at the time. “People might not realize how much a headache it all caused to the department, but it did. If we had to get from uptown Kearny to South Kearny, we either had to take the Turnpike to 15E — or go into Jersey City, maneuver around there, turn around and then come back west or go to Route 440.
He said it was a challenge for all first-responders.
“Before, coming in with lights and sirens didn’t matter at all,” King said. “Delays were everywhere, no matter how they got to the area. We should see an amazing improvement moving forward.”
With the new roadways open, traffic will no longer have to cross the bridge, make a U-turn and cross the bridge again to get to destinations in South Kearny including the large CSX Intermodal Terminal and many other logistic facilities in the area. The direct access to businesses in South Kearny is expected to reduce congestion and improve travel times.
Fish House Road will also provide an alternate route to Routes 1&9 Truck for traffic to Route 440.
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.
Meanwhile, the Route 7/Wittpenn Bridge will be closed to allow for the demolition of the old bridge and testing of the lift span on the new bridge. NJDOT will provide more detailed information before the closure.
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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.