Route 3 reopens after downed utility pole and wires cause 10-hour shutdown in Secaucus

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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Route 3 reopens after downed wires cause 10-hour shutdown in Secaucus
A downed utility pole with live wires has shut down all lanes of Route 3 in Secaucus. CeFaan Kim has the story.

SECAUCUS, New Jersey (WABC) -- An apparently malfunctioning dump truck pulled down several live utility lines and poles Wednesday morning in Secaucus, shutting down all lanes of Route 3 in both directions for most of the day.

It happened around 6:30 a.m. on the heavily traveled highway, which is just west of the New Jersey Turnpike Eastern Spur.

Police said the road was reopening at 4:45 p.m. just as the evening commute was getting underway.

According to Secaucus Police, the dump truck, which was contracted by the Department of Transportation to salt the road, experienced some sort of malfunction as it was traveling on Route 3 East near Roosevelt Avenue.

The malfunction caused the bed of the truck to raise, and it became caught on some power lines above, bringing down the lines and utility poles on both sides of the highway.

Fortunately the driver was not injured, and no other vehicles were damaged, but the road was shut down while crews cleaned up the mess.

"Our goal is to not have it go into the evening rush. We had to reach out to our mutual aid partners in the surrounding areas. Bergen County Sheriff assisted us, East Rutherford, Port Authority, North Bergen and the state police and obviously the Department of Transportation," Chief Dennis Miller said. "Traffic was rerouted in all the other areas, we had to obviously clear all the traffic off the roadway here. And they were routed through the local streets that caused some minor accidents throughout, some delays."

PSE&G dispatched repair crews to safely clear the scene and begin restoration work as a few hundred customers lost power. It was restored by 4 p.m..

Traffic was shut down on Route 3 in both directions from I-495 to East Rutherford as the work continued.

New Jersey Transit said bus service on Route 3 would be subject to delays of up to 30 minutes and detours during the evening commute.

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