A historic bridge in Manasquan that dates back to 1898 has reopened, officials in Monmouth County announced this week.
The Glimmer Glass Bridge spans Glimmer Glass Creek and provides the quickest route to the Manasquan’s beach section from Route 71 in Brielle. It is located within the borders of Manasquan, but is the primary link between Brielle and Manasquan by way of Fisk Avenue.
The bridge had been closed in August 2014 “as a result of significant damage to the bridge deck and immediate safety concerns,” according to a statement from the county. In October, the county received a $1.6 million grant from the state Department of Transportation to complete repair work.
The work had been expected to be completed by May 29, 2015, but the contractor, George Harms Construction Co. Inc. of Farmingdale, was able to complete the project on March 10.
“We are pleased that this project did not require the anticipated ten month closure,” said Monmouth County Engineer Joseph Ettore, in a statement. “Monmouth County is still looking to find a long term solution for the bridge that serves as a vital connector between two towns. We need a permanent replacement.”
In 2008, Monmouth County officials had offered to build a new bridge that looked and functioned exactly the same as the current bridge, but had new parts and met safety standards. The plan faced opposition from a vocal group of residents who lobbied to keep the current bridge in place, which is considered functionally obsolete. The addition of the bridge to the National Register of Historic Places in August 2008 complicated the matter further.
The bridge may be the last remaining cable-lift bascule, rolling counterweight span in the world. It was originally built in 1898 as a temporary bridge to cross the Point Pleasant Canal, but was mothballed until 1938, when it was installed in Manasquan. The bridge received refurbishings in the 1950s and 1970s.