SECAUCUS, N.J. (PIX11) — A dump truck downed several utility lines and poles along Route 3 just off the New Jersey Turnpike early Wednesday in Secaucus, necessitating detours for several hours off of the main artery to the Lincoln Tunnel, officials said. The roadway eventually reopened in both directions around 5 p.m.
The truck, which was spreading salt on the road, had its bed up when it got caught in the lines just after 6:30 a.m., police said. The truck caused “extensive” damage, including four broken poles, according to Public Service Electric & Gas. Wires and a few utility poles came down onto both the east and westbound lanes of the highway.
Hundreds of customers in the area were left without power. “The electricity was off and then on, maybe for three times,” said Bert Aguilera, who lives a block away from the scene.
All lanes were closed in both directions just west of the turnpike’s eastern spur, according to the state Department of Transportation.
The live wire presented a precarious task for first responders. “Not only the wire, the fence line here was energized, the truck was energized, and things of that nature,” said Secaucus Police Chief Dennis Miller.
“We still have to maintain the calls for service in addition to that, so I’m proud of my officers, the way they handled this,” said Miller.
PSE&G spent nearly the entire day fixing the lines and replacing utility poles. Company officials said a few hundred customers were without power, but they were able to mitigate more outages by rerouting power from other sources.