Construction Workers Injured in Piscataway Bridge Explosion

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – A construction crew working on the reconstruction of the River Road bridge over Interstate 287 experienced an air test explosion on Friday, resulting in injuries to four workers, two of them serious, according to Mayor Brian Wahler.

The crew, contracted by the state Department of Transportation, was installing new sections of line to carry natural gas, but the line did not contain natural gas at the time of the explosion, as it was a new line in the bridge. The workers were conducting an air pressure test when an apparent issue led to the explosion, said Mayor Wahler.

The explosion occurred around 1:30 p.m., injuring three workers in a construction pit and one in a backhoe. All four workers were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, while emergency personnel and police officers were on the scene within minutes.

The incident is under investigation by the Piscataway police, with OSHA expected to conduct a separate investigation. Representatives of PSE&G are on site, as the gas line will eventually be turned over to the company.

The bridge project, which has been ongoing for about two years, is currently ahead of schedule and slated to be opened sometime in early summer. However, the road has only had one lane of travel due to the construction, and the township is hoping to clear it up for the evening rush.