Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Water main break snarls downtown for days

Park Avenue is open once again on Sunday morning.

Park Avenue in Plainfield is finally open to traffic between Second and Fourth Streets after a burst water main Thursday closed the road, snarling traffic throughout downtown.

With work by New Jersey Transit crews on the Watchung Avenue overpass keeping that street closed for the next few weeks, drivers were left to cope on their own Thursday while emergency crews tried to deal with the water main break on Park Avenue.

The abrupt shunting on northbound Park onto West 4th Stret left blocks-long lines of vehicles stretching back from Central Avenue all the way to Park Avenue at peak hours.

Those heading southbound were shunted east or west at Second Street. The beak appears to have occurred in front of the Grove BBQ between Depot Place and 4th Street.

Thousands of vehicles per day use Park Avenue (County Road 531) as an access road between towns south of Plainfield and Routes 22 and 78 and points north of the Queen City.

I got a Nixle alert and an emergency phone call on Thursday afternoon giving notice of the situation. There was a further alert on Friday. Crews were still working on the situation Saturday evening and Park Avenue was barricaded. But this morning, all was clear.

Wachung Avenue will be closed for several weeks while NJ Transit works on that overpass as part of its program of repairs and maintenance to all Plainfield's rail crossings -- the most numerous of any community on the Raritan Valley Line.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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