Bunny bridge!

Tall grass and a fence? This is an overpass?

Did you know this area has not just one unused overpass with no road on top, but several?

When plans for the construction of I-78 were unveiled, they were met with a LOT of opposition, because it needed to pass through the Watchung Reservation. And both sides butted heads for years: the section of I-78 from Exits 33-41 was completed in 1974, but the section through the Watchung Reservation (Exits 43-48) wasn’t opened until 1986.

In order to get locals to agree to the road construction at all, the roadmakers needed to make a few concessions:

  1. I-78 was shifted to the northern edge of the reservation, so as to disturb as little of the land as possible. The original plan was to barrel right through. (This northern route made construction a hell of a lot more difficult, since they had to blast through extensive portions of the Second Watchung Mountain.)
  2. Extra land bridges were constructed to allow animals to easily migrate to and from the Watchung Reservation without getting killed by interstate traffic.

One of the land bridges (shown above), colloquially called the “bunny bridge,” really is just a field of grass over I-78.

Really, it is just a bridge of land. Click to see the Google map!

 

This is what it looks like when you’re approaching it going west to east:

View from I-78; actually the view from Nike Rd, half a mile down the road.

 

(By the way: I’m having computer problems. I may miss some updates this week.)

 

 

References:

LostinJersey Blog. (2009). “The bunny bridge of Watchung.” http://lostinjersey.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/the-bunny-bridge-of-watchung/.

Wikipedia. (2012). “Interstate 78 in New Jersey.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_78_in_New_Jersey.

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6 Responses to “Bunny bridge!”

  1. Love the Bunny Bridge… And your unique perspective of it! Cool composition. Thank you for the background and history as well… My favorite part about your posts! Great work! 🙂

    • Thank you! You have no idea how much your comment warms my heart. I generally hate doing historical posts, because they take a long time to write, and nobody seems to care. So thank you for caring. 🙂

      I know I’ve been MIA recently; sorry, and I’ll be back soon!

  2. Interesting! I wonder if the animals really use these. Are there any trails on the bridge? Do fewer deer get killed on I-78 because of this?

    • Anecdotally, no, deer don’t really use it.

      However: I went here to find a geocache, and stood up to discover I’d been kneeling in poop.

      So at least one animal uses it.

      I haven’t found any fully substantiated evidence to support any of this, though.

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