As promised, work completed before Memorial Day Weekend
FREEHOLD, NJ – The Oceanic Bridge (S-31) spanning the
The opening, which follows completion of extensive work to rehabilitate the bridge’s 100-foot, center bascule span, will allow motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to resume use of the bridge. The announcement comes as promised before the start of the Memorial Day Weekend.
“This repair work extends the usable life of this 72-year-old bridge,” Freeholder Deputy Director Thomas A. Arnone said. “This 2,752-foot bridge that connects Rumson and
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders thanked Senator Joe Kyrillos Jr. for helping to advance this interim repair project and for his involvement in seeing it through to full replacement. These interim repairs were 100 percent funded using the state Transportation Trust Fund.
“This is the largest drawbridge in
The rehabilitation work on the double-leaf bascule span included the removal of the existing grid deck and construction of a new grid deck. Rehabilitation or removal and replacement of stringers, floor beams, supporting steelwork and a catwalk was part of the contract as well. An extensive rust removal project was completed and all metal areas were sanded, primed and painted.
To accommodate marine traffic, one section of the bridge’s span was kept in the upright position throughout the project. The work required the bridge to be closed to all but marine traffic.
“It is never an easy decision to close a major transportation artery, but the condition of the bascule span demanded it,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “Public safety is our No. 1 concern and we are happy to give the residents a restored structure that will carry them to their destinations in a secure manner. I thank the surrounding residents for their patience during this reconstruction period.”
Originally, the county’s consultant engineers had recommended the complete replacement of the steel bascule spans; however, the county’s Department of
“The replacement of the entire bascule span would have cost approximately $8 million and a bridge closure of at least 18 months,” Arnone said. “But thanks to the sensor monitoring and analyses that were performed, it was determined that the span could be rehabilitated at a cost of just $3.5 million and a bridge closure of seven months.”
“That data convinced the county’s engineers that rehabilitation of the existing bascule span was possible and the most cost-effective solution,” Freeholder Lillian G. Burry said. “This interim repair work will extend the life of the
The bridge was shut down to vehicular and pedestrian traffic in mid-October of last year, with a promise from the freeholders that the work would be completed prior to the start of Memorial Day Weekend 2012.
“We were very pleased with the contractor’s diligence and timely execution of the work, and we were very fortunate that the weather cooperated,” Freeholder Gary J. Rich Jr. said. “Work on several bridge elements were done simultaneously to limit the length of time the bridge was closed. Parts were taken out of service, repaired and then reinstalled in phases.”
In the weeks leading up to Friday’s opening, critical testing and span balancing were performed to guarantee smooth operation of the span.
“It is so nice to once again be able to get from
The contractor for this project is the Iron Bridge Group, Inc. of