Route 3 west crash closes highway for several hours at height of p.m. commute

Submitted by New Jersey Truck Crash Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark

New Jersey Truck Crash - Route 3

NJ Transit is diverting buses from Route 3 west after a truck crash may have damaged an overpass.

RUTHERFORD – A serious crash, which may have structurally damaged a Route 3 overpass near Route 17, has closed the west bound lanes of the highway and sent drivers and bus riders looking for another route home this evening.

The accident has shut down the westbound side of the highway, and state Department of Transportation officials are warning that could back-up traffic to the Lincoln Tunnel. Route 3 east is not affected by the tractor trailer accident at Orient Way in Rutherford. The DOT is reporting a 40-45 minute traffic delay on Route 3 west.

The accident prompted NJ Transit to detour buses from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City to other highways. About 151,397 vehicles a day use Route 3 west at the Route 17 interchange. An NJ Transit alert said the accident resulted in a fatality. Police have not confirmed that.

The DOT 511 traffic website is showing traffic building on Route 120 and the eastern spur of the New Jersey Turnpike, as drivers scramble to find other routes. NJ Transit is reporting 20 minute delays to bus routes using Route 3 west and officials said bus tickets will be cross honored on the Montclair-Boonton, and Main-Bergen rail lines.

The accident took place at the Orient Way overpass in Rutherford after a tractor trailer struck the overpass, said Lt. Anthony Nunzato of the Rutherford police. A car was involved in the crash and rescuers had to free an occupant, he said.

All westbound traffic is being diverted from Route 3 west at Route 17, he said. A photo on News12 Twitter feed shows a container truck body on the road, separated from its chassis.

“We have a structural evaluation team en route and we will not know anything until they’ve had a chance to perform an inspection,” said Kevin Israel, a DOT spokesman.

DOT officials expect the highway to be closed for several hours as crews evaluate the condition of the overpass, which carries Orient Way over the highway.

NJ Transit announced that buses which normally use Route 3 west are being detoured to the New Jersey Turnpike and I-80. Drivers are being advised to take alternate routes to Route 3.

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Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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