file 2004 w front streetContractor began mobilizing in September

RED BANK, NJ – The project to replace the West Front Street Bridge (S-17) on West Front Street (County Route 10) over the Swimming River has begun.  

“Work to completely replace the West Front Street Bridge is under way,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “When completed, the new structure will improve travel between Middletown and Red Bank for vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.”

The project has an expected completion date of May 2016. The existing bridge will remain open to traffic for the majority of the project, with the exception of a four month period beginning in January 2015.

“The new 488-foot long steel girder bridge will be constructed to the north of the existing bridge on a curved alignment,” said Arnone. “This will reduce the impact to the traveling public for most of the construction period. When it is time to connect the new bridge to the shoreline, the existing bridge will be closed and removed.”

The new bridge will be 32 feet wide with two 12-foot travel lanes and four-foot shoulders and six-foot sidewalks in both directions.

“It is also important to note that the bridge on Newman Spring Road over Swimming River will be complete before there are any closures to the bridge on West Front Street,” added Arnone. “The bridge will completely reopen to traffic in November 2013 and the project will be completed in December 2013.”

Architectural enhancements for the new West Front Street Bridge include ornamental lights, a decorative recessed brick panel parapet with a decorative ball and cap railing. The overhead wires that now cross the Swimming River will be removed and placed under the bridge deck.

Additional improvements will be minor roadway widening on the bridge approaches, improved storm water drainage, highway lighting and new guide rail treatments. The bridge’s concrete sidewalks will provide an ADA accessible route from Hubbard Avenue in Middletown to Rector Place/Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank.

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The new bridge will provide approximately nine feet of vertical clearance above mean high water mark; there will be approximately 72 feet of horizontal clearance within the navigable channel of the Swimming River.

The contractor for this project is Agate Construction Company, Ocean View, NJ. The contract amount is $21,672,146. The project is being funded by the Federal Highway Administration, the NJDOT and the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority is assisting with the project as well.

The County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering is overseeing this project.

Hubbard’s Bridge, as it is known locally, was originally constructed in 1921 as a six span, simply supported, through girder, floor beam, stringer structure 339 feet - 4 inches long. The deck was a steel open grid deck. Each span was 55 feet long between bearings. The original substructure consisted of pile supported piers and wing walls.

Extensive and severe corrosion required that the bridge’s superstructure be replaced. This was completed in 2004. A temporary Acrow® panel truss superstructure was erected and substructures were adapted to carry the trusses. This temporary installation was made to keep the bridge crossing open to traffic while a permanent replacement structure could be designed.

The trusses are the property of the County and will be removed and placed in storage for use at other sites.

Currently, the bridge is load posted for 15 tons and has an average daily traffic flow of more than 17,000 vehicles at a posted speed limit of 35 mph. There is an advisory speed limit of 20 mph in the vicinity of the NJ Transit bridge at the east end of the structure where the vertical clearance is just 10 feet 11 inches.