Bridge closed to all motor vehicle traffic for project duration

RED BANK, NJ  – On or about Monday, Jan. 5, the West Front Street Bridge (S-17), connecting Red Bank and Middletown, will close to motor vehicle traffic until May 16.

Pedestrian access across the bridge will be available throughout the closure. Bicyclists must dismount and walk their bicycle across the bridge.

“We are moving into the home stretch with the West Front Street Bridge replacement project and it is on schedule to open before Memorial Day weekend,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering. “To connect the new bridge to the Middletown and Red Bank shorelines, we must close the current bridge to vehicles and begin the last big phase of construction.”

Drivers should plan an alternate travel route until the project is completed and the new West Front Street Bridge is opened to traffic in mid-May.

Detours will be posted. Westbound traffic from West Front Street in Red Bank will be directed north on Rector Place to State Hwy 35 and across Coopers Bridge and then onto Navesink River Road to Hubbard Avenue. Eastbound traffic from West Front Street in Middletown will be directed north on Hubbard Avenue to Navesink River Road to State Hwy 35 and across Coopers Bridge to Rector Place.   

“Motorists should expect travel delays in the area while this work is completed,” said Arnone.

The new bridge will be 480-feet long and 44-feet wide. There will be two 12-foot travel lanes for motor vehicles and four-foot shoulders and six-foot sidewalks in both directions. The new bridge will provide approximately nine feet of vertical clearance above mean high water elevation; there will be approximately 72 feet of horizontal clearance within the navigable channel of the Swimming River.

Architectural enhancements for the new West Front Street Bridge include ornamental lights and a decorative recessed brick panel parapet with a decorative ball and cap railing. The look will complement the nearby Rt. 35 Bridge, known locally as Coopers Bridge.

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.

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.

Due to the bridge’s age, severe corrosion required that the bridge be replaced.

The bridge contractor, Agate Construction of Ocean View, NJ is on track to complete the opening of the new bridge to traffic by May 17, 2015.

Since the bridge replacement project started in August 2013, the West Front Street Bridge has remained open to vehicle and pedestrian traffic for most of the past 16 months.

In total, the county maintains of approximately 1,000 lane miles of roads, 980 bridges and culverts and 250 traffic signals and beacons.