A water main break around 1 p.m. has closed the right lane going westbound on Route 22 near Terrill Road in Watchung, according to Peter Eschbach, with NJ American Water.
The right lane, Eschbach said, is closed for the workers, while the left lane will remain open.
According to Eschbach, there is a 12-inch diameter cast iron water main from the 1930s in that area, and it broke, though they won't know how badly until the workers begin their investigation of the site.
"We have turned off the valves and isolated where the break is on either side," he said. "No one is without water."
Eschbach said that workers are going to excavate the area where the break is to look at it. Depending on how bad the break is, he said, they will either patch it or replace it with a brand new ductile iron pipe.
"That is state-of-the-art, and what we use to replace cast iron that's been in the ground," he said.
Eschbach said the plan is to complete work by midnight.
"If everything goes without surprises, we should be finished by midnight tonight, before rush hour tomorrow," he said.
At this point, Eschbach said, the police have one lane moving westbound, and they are going to be setting up detours in the area.
"We will not be done by tonight's rush hour," he said. "But by tomorrow morning, we should be in good shape."