Project on schedule for reopening Memorial Day Weekend 

FREEHOLD, NJ – Repair work on the on the 100-foot, center bascule span of the Oceanic Bridge between Rumson and Middletown is proceeding on schedule as work is being done to rehabilitate this important county bridge.

“The work requires that the bridge be closed so that the work can be performed in the most expedient and cost effective manner,” Freeholder Deputy Director Thomas A. Arnone said. “In the meantime, all vehicle traffic is being diverted east or west to cross the Navesink River.”

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During the second full month of the closure, the contractor removed and replaced two major floor beams on the north leaf of the bascule span and reinforced the east and west girders. The contractor also completed the installation of a temporary platform on the south leaf’s bascule in preparation of rehabilitation of that span. 

On the north leaf, approximately 95 percent of the existing components have been cleaned and primed; some areas have also been painted. Painting work has been stopped for the winter and will resume when structural repairs, stringer and grating deck installation are completed. During the cleaning process, 10 55-gallon drums of rust and paint chips were removed from the north and south spans. Mechanical work to various components of bridge machinery continues to be repaired off-site.

“This project is continuing on schedule,” Arnone said. “This winter, so far, has been relatively mild so that work crews have been able to keep working schedule and we are proceeding toward an on-time re-opening prior to Memorial Day weekend.”

The rehabilitation work on the double-leaf bascule span includes the removal of the existing grid deck and construction of a new grid deck. The work also will include the rehabilitation or removal and replacement of stringers, floor beams, supporting steelwork and a catwalk. Also, work to strengthen structural steel and to repair mechanical and electrical systems will be done along with the cleaning and painting of the existing bascule span steel.

The nature of the work requires that the center, movable sections of the bridge be removed and resurfaced. In addition, work to the machinery, motor brakes and bascule span lock mechanism must be done. As parts are taken out of service, they are repaired, reinstalled and tested in phases. Work on different elements and sections are being done simultaneously to limit the length of time the bridge is closed to the traveling public.

The county-owned Oceanic Bridge connects Bingham Avenue (CR-8) in Rumson to Locust Point Road (CR-8B) in Middletown; both are county roads. The Oceanic Bridge is the largest of all 980 county-owned bridges and culverts, which are maintained by the Department of Public Works and Engineering.

In addition to the Oceanic Bridge, there are three other movable drawbridges that are monitored and maintained by the county’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. Arnone is the freeholder liaison to the department.

To accommodate marine traffic, one section of the bridge’s double-leaf bascule span is being kept in the upright position.

Iron Bridge Group, Inc. of North Brunswick was awarded a contract for the rehabilitation work in the amount of $3,554,380. The work is being done with oversight by county’s Department of Public Works and Engineering.

Information about the Oceanic Bridge and other county road and bridge projects is available on the Roads and Bridges section of the county Web site at www.visitmonmouth.com.

Motorists should use the signed detours and expect travel delays during the project. All motor vehicle traffic on Bingham Avenue between Rumson and Middletown (CR-8) will be detoured.

From Rumson, traffic can either travel west through Fair Haven and Red Bank to Middletown or travel east through Sea Bright and Highlands to Middletown.

Northbound traffic from Rumson on Bingham Avenue (CR-8) is detoured east through Fair Haven and Red Bank on East River Road (CR-10) to East Front Street to Route 35 North to Navesink River Road (CR-12A) in Middletown. Or, northbound traffic can detour from Bingham Avenue south, turn left onto Rumson Road (CR-520) to Sea Bright and turn left onto Ocean Avenue (Route 36 North) to Highlands and take the jug handle for Navesink Avenue in Middletown. Follow Navesink Avenue and turn left onto Locust Avenue and left again onto Locust Point Road (CR-8B).

Southbound traffic from Middletown is detoured west on Navesink River Road (CR-12A) to Route 35 South in Red Bank and follow detours signs to travel west on East Front Street (CR10)/ East River Road through Fair Haven and into Rumson.  Or, southbound traffic can detour from Navesink River Road (CR-12A)/ Locust Point Road (CR-8B) and turn right onto Locust Avenue, turning right onto Navesink Avenue and then bear right onto Route 36 South through Highlands and into Sea Bright. Turn right onto the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge and follow Rumson Road (CR-520) west to Bingham Avenue. Turn right onto Bingham Avenue (CR-8).