PHOTO COURTESY OF BOB LEAFE
Bob Leafe, a reader from of Hackensack, recently spotted this large crack on the bridge near River Road in Teaneck.
Road Warrior: Route 4 bridge in Teaneck gets no respect
JANUARY 25, 2015 LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, JANUARY 25, 2015, 2:49 PM
BY JOHN CICHOWSKI
RECORD COLUMNIST |
During a stroll along the Hackensack River walkway on the day after Christmas, Bob Leafe became intrigued by the geese taking shelter under the Route 4 bridge in Teaneck, so he pulled out his camera and started shooting.
But when he looked closely at his work, Bob realized he had shot something a bit less idyllic than wildlife. His photo, as shown here, depicts what appears to be a vertical gash that extends along one of the giant pillars holding up part of the span that carries more than 100,000 vehicles each day, according to the state Department of Transportation.
“I’m no engineer, but that does NOT look good,” he wrote in an email. “Pretty scary,” he said later on the phone, adding that he would look for other ways to cross the Hackensack River from Teaneck to his home in Hackensack.
DOT engineers insist the span is safe enough for traffic — safer certainly than the Route 3 bridge over the same river between East Rutherford and Secaucus, whose left eastbound lane had to be closed last week for at least a month to repair persistent deterioration. Such road conditions rarely attract much attention from Trenton policymakers. But the Route 3 one attracted reporters and photographers to a DOT yard about a half-mile from the bridge, where Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox again made his pitch for a “revenue enhancer.”
This term is code for some sort of additional levy that Fox believes is necessary to replenish the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, which has reached its bonding capacity. But the commissioner again avoided endorsing any hike to the hated 10.5-cent-a-gallon motor-fuels tax, which has always fueled most of the fund.