All those times you drove over the Midstreams Bridge in Brick over the years, there wasn’t much holding you above the water.
The dangerous conditions at the bridge, which connects the Midstreams section with the Princeton Avenue peninsula, are also the reason why no traffic is currently being allowed to cross it while a construction project is underway to install a new span.
“There was actually nothing supporting the bridge except for the weight of the bridge itself,” Mayor John Ducey said. “I’m not an engineer, but for lack of a better term, it wasn’t strapped down.”
The bridge is owned by the county, not the township, and is currently undergoing a replacement project. Built in 1962, the county decided earlier this year to replace it with a new, wider bridge that will include pedestrian and bicycle lanes. But the county also pledged to keep one lane of traffic open during construction, a promise they are now finding themselves unable to keep.
“When they found that out and loosened things up to knock down one side and keep the other side open, it was moving all over the place because there was nothing holding it in,” Ducey said.
The township has held meetings with the county, said Ducey, but there is not yet a definitive answer on whether at least one lane of the bridge will reopen during construction, which is scheduled to last into October 2018. Several businesses on Princeton Avenue have voiced concern over a lack of access to their section of town.
“We did ask about any type of incentives, or something they could do for the businesses, and they said they did not have anything,” Ducey said of the county.
More meetings on the site are scheduled in the near future, the mayor said.
Midlantic Construction, of Barnegat Township, was selected to complete the $4,661,443 job of replacing the current, 55-year-old span that carries traffic along Jordan-Midstreams Road across Beaver Dam Creek. The current bridge, built in 1962, is a 131-foot long, 35-foot wide structure consisting of adjacent precast concrete slab beams.
The new bridge will be a 111-foot-long long steel and concrete platform, said Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. The 49-foot wide bridge will include a 6-foot-wide sidewalk on the west side.