Pedestrians passed, above, as prep work and equipment staging for the replacement of the West Front Street Hubbard’s Bridge between Red Bank and the River Plaza section of Middletown got underway this week.

The $12 million, 18-to-24-month project will replace the existing steel bridge with a permanent structure that bows slightly to the north, as shown above right in red. The job will require a shutdown of all traffic across the existing bridge for up to four months when the new span is tied into the approaches at either end, officials at the Monmouth County engineer’s office have said.

The “temporary” steel bridge installed in 2004 it will be reused elsewhere, officials  said. (Photo above by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)