RUMSON-SEA BRIGHT: BRIDGE CLOSING


HOT-TOPIC_03Monmouth County Bridge S-32, better known as a the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge, will be closed overnight from 8 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday for regular
maintenance to the center bascule, Monmouth County officials announced Wednesday. 

Detours will be posted, as the span will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

 

SEA BRIGHT RELUCTANTLY OKS BRIDGE PLAN

Borough officials said they would prefer that the new bridge be north of the existing span instead of south. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Sea Bright approved a preliminary design for a new Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge over the Shrewsbury River Tuesday night, even though it’s not one some of them would have preferred.

The proposed span, a drawbridge like the existing 62-year-old structure, would follow a path about 30 feet south of the current bridge, resulting in the demolition of a building that’s home to a Dunkin’ Donuts and a vacant filling station on Ocean Avenue.

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RUMSON-SEA BRIGHT SPAN INCHES FORWARD

A concept plan discussed by Monmouth County Engineer Joe Ettore, in Sea Bright below, shows a proposed new alignment for the bridge and approach. The existing bridge, in white, would be torn down. (Photos by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Sea Bright residents will face yet another extended bridge closure after the one that’s scheduled to begin next week, but there’s no reason to freak out just yet – it’s still at least eight years away.

Representatives of the Monmouth County Engineering Department were in town Wednesday afternoon to host a public information session designed to offer updates and receive feedback on plans to replace the current Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge over the Shrewsbury River.

According to county Engineer Joseph Ettore, the project is still in it’s first stage, what the department refers to as “concept development,” and it will still be roughly 8 to 10 years at least before ground is broken on the new span.

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SEA BRIGHT: NO BRIDGE WORK ON WEEKENDS

Repairs on the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge may take up to two weeks longer to complete than previously anticipated, but will allow for traffic flows on weekends. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A compromise to a widely criticized plan to shut down the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge for three weeks starting this weekend January 28 was reached Tuesday, town officials said.

Under the compromise, repair work on the bridge will be halted on Friday afternoons and resume on Monday mornings, with the Shrewsbury River span remaining open to traffic throughout the weekends.

“It’s a win-win-win,” said an ecstatic Chris Wood, whose restaurant, Woody’s Ocean Grille, is scheduled to reopen for business Wednesday for the first time since Hurricane Sandy slammed into the shore, wiping out every business in town.

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HARD-HIT SEA BRIGHT FACES BRIDGE OUTAGE

News of the planned closure of the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge had restaurateur Chris Wood lobbying elected officials for a modification Friday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Business owners in Hurricane Sandy-walloped Sea Bright were reeling Friday afternoon on word that Monmouth County plans to shut down the Rumson-Sea Bright (Route 520) bridge for up to a month starting as early as January 28.

“It’s cutting off our lifeline as we’re recovering from a massive heart attack,” said Woody’s Ocean Grille owner Chris Wood, who just took delivery of $50,000 worth of liquor and food in preparation for a planned reopening in the desolate downtown next Wednesday.

“We’re just trying to get ourselves back open,” said Frank Bain,  owner of the recently reopened Bain’s Hardware, “and a very large portion of our customer base comes over that bridge.”

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BUY-IN ON NEW SEA BRIGHT BRIDGE ELUSIVE

Below, dozens of local residents turned out in Sea Bright Monday for a midday presentation of options for dealing with the “serious” condition of the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge. (Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

Sixty years old, the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge over the Shrewsbury River is rapidly corroding, inadequate for today’s traffic loads and behind the times on accident safety. Its electrical system is the same one installed in 1952. It’s not up to snuff in terms of earthquake resistance, either.

In a word, Monmouth County engineering officials say, the bridge’s condition is “serious.”

Whether to spend an estimated $10 million to rehabilitate the bridge or some $50 million to replace it was the core question at a pair of public hearings held Monday in Sea Bright and Rumson. More than a dozen county officials and consultants were present at each to kick off a series of discussions aimed, they said, at “building consensus” on a solution.

But some residents of the two towns voiced skepticism that their concerns – which include the impacts of a new span on property values on the Rumson side and on the business district in Sea Bright – would be given much weight in the process.

“They seem to have it in mind to build a new bridge, and I just don’t want it destroying the neighborhood in the process,” said Tom Calvanico, who lives near the Rumson anchorage.

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