njtpa oceanic arnone

photo: Monmouth County Freeholder and North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees member Thomas A. Arnone is pictured with the Oceanic Bridge project summary poster.  The NJTPA Board approved $600,000 in federal funding to perform a Concept Development Study for the replacement or rehabilitation of the Oceanic Bridge in Rumson and Middletown.

NJTPA slates $600,000 of federal funds

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County received word on Monday that $600,000 in federal funding to perform a Concept Development Study for the replacement or rehabilitation of the Oceanic Bridge in Rumson and Middletown was approved by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees.

“As the years have gone on, maintaining this bridge has become more costly and difficult,” said Monmouth County Freeholder and NJTPA Board member Thomas A. Arnone. “This grant will allow us to look to the future and take steps toward building a better bridge, one that will stand up to the extreme coastal storms we’ll face and serve our modern travel needs.”

The 2,712-foot drawbridge crosses the NavesinkRiver and serves beach, commercial and residential traffic, as well as pedestrian and bicycle travel. It is also a key route for coastal evacuations and emergency vehicles headed to hospitals or providing mutual aid. The bridge has been classified as structurally deficient.

Built in 1939, the OceanicBridge has deteriorated due to decades of exposure to saltwater and from accommodating heavier vehicles and traffic volumes than for which it was designed.

In 2012, MonmouthCounty completed extensive work to rehabilitate the bridge’s 100-foot, center bascule span, allowing motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to continue use of the bridge.

“The interim repair work has extended the life of the OceanicBridge, but it is time to commit to a new bridge and this NJTPA news will help us move in that direction,” said Arnone.

The study was one of five in northern and central New Jersey selected to receive federal funding through the NJTPA’s Fiscal Year 2016 Local Capital Project Delivery Program. The program awards grants to the NJTPA’s member counties and cities to investigate all aspects of a project, including environmental, right of way, access, design and feasibility issues. Studies that complete this initial investigative work, called the Local Concept Development Phase, may be eligible for eventual construction.

A total of $3 million was approved for this year’s round of Local Concept Development Phase studies. For more information about the program, visit NJTPA.org.