Two major bridge replacement projects – one between Asbury Park and the Wanamassa section of Ocean Township and one on Main Street between Interlaken and Loch Arbour – should be completed next week and the roads open to traffic.
Freeholder Thomas Arnone, liaison to the county Department of Public Works and Engineering, said this week that the bridges, both crossing Deal Lake, are expected to be open by May 23. The eastern end of Grasmere Avenue in Interlaken, which was also closed to through traffic beginning May 2 for milling and repaving on the roadway adjacent to the Main Street Bridge, will also be open.
“Both bridges, absolutely, are going to be open by this Monday,” Arnone said.
He said that both bridges should be at least be 90 percent complete and that traffic should be flowing freely across them. The original date for the bridge openings was by May 27, according to projections when the two projects started.
Donna Logdon, owner of the Sunset Landing restaurant in Asbury Park, just east of the Sunset Avenue Bridge, said she is extremely happy to see the bridge reopen.
“It’s about time. The closing had a hugely adverse effect on my business and I hope things get back to normal,” she said.
Logdon said she plans to have a special invitation-only party in the near future to thank all of her customers who continued to support her when the bridge was closed.
Ocean Township Mayor Christopher Siciliano said it is great the bridge is finally opening.
“It is redesigned and will be a beautiful bridge. And, it will make it a lot easier for residents to get into Asbury Park. I think residents will be very pleased,” he said.
Allenhurst Mayor David J. McLaughlin said the Main Street Bridge closing has had an adverse effect on local businesses and that he is glad to see it opening again.
“I am very grateful it is finally done. It really hurt our Main Street businesses and I am glad they met their deadline,” he said.
Chris Myer, co-owner of the Shore Antique Center at 413 Allen Ave. in Allenhurst, said it is hard to quantify the impact the bridge closings had on his business but that it certainly had a negative effect.
“I think everybody will be glad to see it reopen – it was just a big inconvenience,” he said.
The Sunset Avenue Bridge was closed in January of last year for an estimated 454 days under a $9 million to $10 million Department of Transportation funded project to replace the bridge. Traffic has been diverted through Asbury Park or Interlaken while the bridge was under construction.
The plan called for replacing the existing five-span bridge with a four-span structure with arched fascia. It will have one 12-foot lane in each direction, with 6-foot shoulders and 6-foot sidewalks.
A triangular curb between Bridge Street and Sunset Avenues will also be removed. The Sunset Avenue Bridge had deteriorated over time and had substantial chipping and cracking that routine maintenance could no longer address.
The Main Street Bridge over Deal Lake connecting Loch Arbour to Interlaken and Asbury Park was closed to all traffic in September of last year for a $4,272,984 renovation project.