A lane of the Midstreams Bridge, which has been closed since October, will reopen on Friday, county officials said today.
The northbound lane of the bridge is expected to reopen Friday, meaning traffic from Princeton Avenue will be able to turn onto the bridge in order to cross. Traffic will not be able to cross the bridge in the southbound direction – toward Princeton Avenue – due to the layout of the intersection, said Freeholder Jack Kelly.
“The reason we can’t open it both ways is because there is an intersection close to the bridge, and you can’t stack traffic there,” said Kelly. “It’s not as convenient as we would like, but we worked with the people doing the work and we were able to reach an agreement where we were at least able to open one lane.”
While demolishing the original Midstreams Bridge, which was built in 1962, the county’s contractor found structural issues that were not anticipated, resulting in the closure of the span. Mayor John Ducey has said there were deficiencies found in the foundation of the bridge, which was virtually nonexistent, with the span largely having been supported by its own weight.
The existing timber piles and timber bulkhead substructure showed signs of “advanced deterioration” while the existing concrete pile caps exhibited delamination and moderate section loss, county officials said. Additionally, the bridge deck width is substandard given the increased traffic volumes.
The contractor, Midlantic Construction, of Barnegat Township, reviewed the options available and whether the bridge could be constructed in stages as originally planned allowing for a single lane of traffic at all times, County Engineer John Ernst said.
Midlantic was selected to complete the $4,661,443 job of replacing the 55-year-old span that carries traffic along Jordan-Midstreams Road across Beaver Dam Creek. The current bridge 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 still on schedule to last into October 2018.