May 16, 2023

Route 46 reopening after flood fix required new mile

The New Jersey Department of Transportation said it expects Route 46 in Warren County to reopen at 6 a.m. Sunday following extensive repairs due to major damage caused by flash flooding earlier this month.

A landslide following torrential downpours closed the road the morning of Sunday, July 16, requiring a major cleanup, berm repairs, drainage improvements and slope stabilization.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday requested a federal disaster declaration to help New Jersey and Warren County recover from the flooding caused by the storm, which hit on July 15.

Across the Delaware River in Northampton County, flood damage on July 16 drew a visit Friday from Gov. Josh Shapiro as assessments continue in support of a possible federal disaster declaration in Pennsylvania, as well.

The repairs required construction of an access road about a mile long to restore a natural berm along the highway. A flooded stream in the Beaver Brook Wildlife Management Area breeched the berm, resulting in water and debris flowing down the side of the mountain and onto about a half-mile of Route 46 between Manunka Chunk Road/Upper Serapta Road and County Route 519/Hope Bridgeville Road in Knowlton Township.

In a news release Friday, the New Jersey transportation department said it took immediate action to redirect the flow of water down Brookside Avenue to protect adjacent property owners from further damage. In addition, unstable trees were removed from the mountainside and debris removal began.

Crews had to coordinate the berm repair with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which owns the property. Once access was established, crews installed several layers of gabion baskets filled with stone to build a dam to stabilize the berm to stop the flow of water.

In addition, the NJ DOT removed and replaced an existing deteriorated corrugated metal pipe with a new 36-inch High Density Polyehtylene (HDPE) pipe, repaired and cleaned inlets and culverts, replaced guiderail, and removed more than 130 truck loads of debris totaling more than 2,600 tons of material, according to the release.

NJ DOT and contractor crews worked around the clock with state environmental officials plus New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and local authorities to carry out the necessary work as quickly and safely as possible, the release states.

The precise timing of the reopening is subject to change due to weather or other factors, the release notes. Motorists are encouraged to check NJ DOT’s traffic information website for real-time travel information.

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Kurt Bresswein may be reached at [email protected].

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