My grandparents built our home in the 1980s and before that had a house at the end of Aaron Drive - before Mill Creek Rd. was extended and completed. Those of you familiar with BHW know that both of those houses had great views of the Causeway. Even the house I spent time growing up in at the end of Clara Dr. had a pretty decent view between the houses.
I'm pointing that out to try to get an idea in y own mind of just how many times I've sat and stared at the Causeway at night. That string of pearls will forever be a part of my childhood memories.
The way it framed to bay at night is a real treasure. Imagine sitting on our deck looking out at that bridge on a dark night with those lights. It was amazing. Eileen even had to comment one night when we stopped for a beer at The Dutchman's and sat on their deck. When you look north from their deck over they bay you basically stare of into darkness. That bridge and its lights just change the whole feel of things at night. I'm sure those looking south would say the same.
One of my most selfish concerns about the new Causeway project was the lighting. Would we end up with a bridge that looks like the new RT 35 bridge over the Raritan river? A stark featureless span lit by the minimum required overhead lights? The thought of that has made me sad at times. Would my kids, whom we are really doing this whole rental thing for, get a chance to ever sit and stare at that string of pearls like I did?
All of the NJ DOT documents I've read through so far have alluded to replacing the string of pearls with a new modern lighting system but details have been lacking and vague.
But now Kelley Anne Essinger at The Sandpaper brings some of the first reporting on details from the DOT. She quotes Daniel Triana, public information officer at the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The new string of pearls will appear in phases. The southern set of lights will be illuminated as construction on the new bridge approaches completion next year. After the rehabilitation work on the original bridge is completed, the northern set of lights will be turned on
Essinger reports the new system will be LED and reduce maintenance costs.
Great news. Can't wait to see it next summer. Nice job NJ DOT.
Read the article in this week's Sandpaper.