County officials say they are working on a plan to reopen one lane of the Midstreams bridge during the remainder of construction.
County Engineer John Ernst said construction crews are shoring up a portion of the bridge so it can be reopened during construction.
“It’s something we’re working on,” said Ernst, after a meeting of the Ocean County freeholders on Wednesday. The county is currently estimating a lane will be reopened sometime in February.
The Midstreams Road bridge, which connects to Princeton Avenue, was closed in October for a replacement project. One lane was supposed to remain open during construction, but crews that began removing the first part of the span for replacement noticed there was nothing holding the bridge in place aside from its own weight, officials have said.
They tried reopening one lane of the bridge, but it was too unstable.
Township officials have said businesses on Princeton Avenue have been suffering since one of the primary ways to reach their doors has been cut off. One business owner said sales were down as much as 30 percent since the closure, Mayor John Ducey said last month.
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.
Construction is expected to last into fall of 2018.