By ED SALVAS
One of the last reminders of the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 is about to disappear as replacement of the footbridge over Sunset Lake in Asbury Park nears completion.
Work to replace the 280-foot pedestrian bridge across Sunset Lake between Fifth and Sunset Avenues has been underway since late November of last year and all that remains is the installation of railings, according to Jason Harzold, of T & M Associates, the City’s Engineer.
“We hope to have the bridge open by the second week of June, hopefully before that,” Harzold said. He added there were some delays caused by weather but the bulk of the work has been completed.
Harzold said the new railings are being custom fabricated of powder-coated black aluminum that will complement the new lights that have been installed on the span. The lights have been on since mid-April and are an antique style and photo-sensitive and have LED bulbs that give off a warm glow.
The old Sunset Lake footbridge was so badly compromised by the storm that it had to be completely rebuilt. The city hired Bird Construction Co. for the job, estimated to cost $900 thousand, with about 90 percent of the cost paid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA. The old pilings were removed and replaced by 48 piles that were buried 35 to 40 feet. The bridge deck is made of a pressure-treated standard deck material that’s the same as found on the boardwalk. Harzold said the deck will not be stained and will fade over time.
Harzold said there will be some landscaping done in Sunset Park to restore it to the way it was before construction began. As part of the agreement with Bird Construction, the city will be reimbursed for the additional money spent for T&M employees to inspect the work.
An official reopening ceremony will take place once the new bridge is open.