McCormick Taylor and contractor IEW Construction Group have been working closely to repair critical failures in northern New Jersey that resulted from flooding caused by storms related to Hurricane Ida. 


The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) selected the team to repair immediate problems quickly requiring long days, evenings, and weekends to keep things moving. The selection was based on previous work completed jointly by the team in southern New Jersey. Two projects in particular have been challenging to address and affect thousands of travelers each day: the I-78 Exit 43, CR 655/Diamond Hill Road, and the I-280 (East of Exit 7) – Pleasant Valley Way/CR 636.

I-78 Exit 43, CR 655/Diamond Hill Road

Storm damage caused unforeseen destruction to the I-78, Diamond Hill Road Interchange Ramp at Milepost 43 causing it to be immediately shut down. Some of the damage included:

  • A 60” Corrugated Metal Pipe (CMP) that discharges into the adjacent retention basin collapsed.
  • A manhole structure was left exposed from the washout on the outside of the ramp.
  • Thirty-foot deep scour occurred washing away vegetation and fencing and filling the retention basin.

Upon the road's closure, IEW Construction provided traffic control, and McCormick Taylor swiftly began designing repairs of a new 60” Reinforced Concrete Pipe (RCP). Sheeting was utilized along the ramp to help perform 26 feet of excavation to install the new RCP and the connection between the new pipe and the manhole. Excavators and cranes were brought in to perform this complex work. More repairs are underway (October 2021), and the ramp will be reopened once repairs are completed.

I-280 (East of Exit 7) – Pleasant Valley Way/CR 636

Extreme flooding in the area caused a sinkhole along the shoulder of I-280 eastbound at Milepost 7.8, just east of Exit 7, causing the right lane and shoulder to be closed immediately. A 48” CMP culvert underneath the roadway, built in the 1950’s, collapsed as a result of the sinkhole. Prior to the roadway closure, a truck trailer was initially lodged in the sinkhole. The 48” CMP carried flows from nearby private properties and township roadways. The interstate highway drainage is a separate system that runs west along the embankment and discharges into the stream.


McCormick Taylor managed the emergency response efforts of the team and began designing the repair immediately. The sinkhole was temporarily filled with stone to allow for contractor equipment and machinery to cross over it. Some additional temporary work included:

  • Designing and installing a temporary bypass drainage system, which included two pumps. One pump was used to divert the highway drainage from the upstream inlet into the headwall area, while the other was used to divert the water from the headwall to the 36” RCP running along the toe of the EB embankment.
  • Designing a supported excavation pit with a 17’x10’ opening and 28’ depth at the location of the sinkhole to access the culvert and further assess the damage.

McCormick Taylor is evaluating more permanent design alternatives to repair and stabilize the roadway, effectively convey the drainage runoff to the stream, and prevent additional flooding to private properties. The team will also perform an H & H analysis of the existing drainage systems and the proposed design alternative. Once an alternative is selected construction will begin.