Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this bridge study necessary?

Now approaching 40 years old, the Picket Place Bridge is in poor condition and has structural and functional limitations that do not meet today’s design standards.

The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), in coordination with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and Somerset County, are conducting an LCD study to determine appropriate improvements to the Picket Place Bridge. The goals of the study are to address the structural and geometric deficiencies of the bridge and increase safety for the traveling public.

What is a Local Concept Development (LCD) study?

The LCD study is the first phase for federally funded transportation improvement projects. The LCD study phase includes data collection; coordination with local municipal officials, community stakeholders, and Federal and State permitting agencies; public outreach; the development of a reasonable number of sensible and practical conceptual alternatives; and the recommendation of a Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA).

The conceptual alternatives include:

A “no-build” alternative
Rehabilitation alternative
Full replacement alternative

What is the schedule for the Picket Place Bridge LCD study?
  • Develop Purpose and Needs Statement: Spring 2019
  • Develop Alternatives Analysis: Summer 2019
  • Selection of Preliminary Preferred Alternative: Summer 2019
  • Documentation: Fall 2019
  • Draft Local Concept Development Report: Fall 2019
  • Final Local Concept Development Report: Winter 2019
What kind of a bridge is the Picket Place Bridge?

The existing Picket Place Bridge (Structure No. 18C0609) over the South Branch of Raritan River was built in 1979, is 355 feet long and approximately 35 feet wide. It is a four span simply supported bridge, composed of pre-stressed concrete I-beams supported on cast-in-place concrete abutments and piers. The structure is classified as “Structurally Deficient” due to the poor condition of the substructure. It is also categorized as “Functionally Obsolete” due to its substandard deck geometry.

What is the existing condition of the bridge?

Now approaching 40 years old, the Picket Place Bridge is in poor condition and has structural and functional limitations that do not meet today’s design standards.

How will the project benefit pedestrians and bicyclists?

As part of the study, the project team is asking for input from the local officials and community stakeholders to understand what pedestrian and bicycle mobility and access is needed. As part of the LCD study phase, when developing the project purpose and need for improvements, all modes of transportation will be taken into consideration.

Have the project's improvements been decided?

The reason for this study is to identify the current transportation issues and needs regarding the Picket Place (County Route 567) Bridge. The project is currently in the LCD phase to identify the needs, develop alternatives and determine a Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA) for bridge improvements. Somerset County and cooperating agencies will continue to seek community input on the design and proposed transportation improvements during the LCD phase and future phases of the project.

How much will it cost and who will pay for it?

The cost of the LCD study is funded with Federal dollars. There is no estimated cost of the design and construction of the project since the Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA) has not been determined.

How will the project affect the environment?

Federally funded projects require environmental screening that follows the National Environmental Policy Act process (NEPA) to establish existing socioeconomic and environmental conditions and weigh the potential impacts that may be caused by the range of alternatives under consideration. When analyzing the alternatives, federal and state regulations require careful assessment and mitigation or avoidance of the potential negative environmental impacts. Environmental resources analyzed include air, noise, hazardous or contaminated sites, parks, wetlands, water resources, social and economic impacts, and cultural resources such as historic structures and facilities.

Why get involved?

Your input is important to every phase of the study. The study team will collect information such as how the local community uses the bridge, any current traffic problems and how the public sees alternative solutions. Community outreach during the planning stages is a vital part of the LCD process and we encourage the community to follow, participate and help make sure every potential effective element has been considered and examined for its viability.

Why attend the public meeting?

Public meetings are a good way to make your voice heard. At public meetings, the study team will be present to answer your questions. If you are unable to attend a meeting, you can stay up-to-date on project developments by visiting this website and reviewing the meeting minutes and PowerPoint presentation.

How can I stay informed, ask questions, or offer suggestions?

The study team is committed to keeping the public informed throughout the Picket Place (County Route 567) Bridge LCD study. Our aim is to keep you up to date on the project and respond to your questions and concerns. You can stay up to date on project developments by visiting this website and reviewing the meeting minutes and meeting presentations.

We encourage community members to voice their concerns and contribute suggestions. For questions or comments, contact: