By DON STINE
Deal’s more-than 100-year-old pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks into the Dear Harbor neighborhood is getting a facelift.
Jason Fazio, superintendent in public works in Deal since March 2, said he is a history buff and realized the bridge needed some help. The bridge, off Atlantic Avenue and crossing the railroad tracks, was originally a car bridge but eventually shut down to allow for pedestrian foot-traffic only.
And while the integrity of the bridge is still good, thanks to a restoration effort in the late 1990s, the façade could use some help, Fazio said.
“Stone ornamentation, like urns and finials, were falling apart. Things were getting cracked and in disarray. This is one of the main historic monuments in the borough and it is such a beautiful bridge.
“It’s all about preservation. In one good storm, you could lose a lot of this. (This project) is about Deal and preserving its history,” he said.
Under the previous renovation project, the bridge saw structural improvements, such as repointing bricks, new pavers and lighting, but the ornate stone façade was not touched.
Fazio said the Board of Commissioner approved spending about $12,000 to restore the brdige’s façade. Work began about a week ago and Fazio said he expects it will be done around Oct. 19.
Deal Harbour is a small residential community in western Deal.