Pipe breakstops traffic

Local businesseslose customers

By:Alec Moore and Krzysztof Scibiorski
   Roadways throughout Manville and surrounding communities, including Somerville, Hillsborough and Raritan, were tied up in gridlock from early afternoon well into the evening hours after a water main broke Tuesday.
   According to an Elizabethtown Water Co. spokeswoman, the cause of the massive, multiple-town traffic jam was a break in a 6-inch water main near Third Street and Finderne Avenue in Bridgewater. The water line had burst at about 1 p.m., forcing police to close Finderne Avenue north of Dukes Parkway East and divert northbound traffic onto Dukes Parkway East.
   The water main was repaired and barricades were lifted at approximately 9 p.m.
   The overflow of traffic created gridlock on Dukes Parkway East as well as its perpendicular side streets. Route 206 came to a near standstill because of the mass of vehicles being diverted from Finderne, which many area residents use to bypass Route 22 to get on Route 287.
   Some local businesses also suffered as a result of the massive gridlock.
   "It was very bad for us. Not that many people came in, others couldn’t get out of the parking lot," said Greg Urena, a manager at the Main Street McDonald’s. "Some of the employees couldn’t come and many were late because of the traffic."