COUNTY EXTENDS OCEANIC TRUCK BAN

oceanic

Monmouth County workers on the Oceanic Bridge this morning. Further inspections on the bridge are expected to start later this week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Monmouth County officials have extended the “conservative” three-ton weight limit on the Oceanic Bridge until at least the beginning of next year, they said Monday morning in a meeting with public officials from Rumson and Middletown, which the Oceanic links.

The self-imposed load limit, which was reduced from 10-tons to three last month, expired Sunday. But county Engineer Joe Ettore said the three-ton limit will stay in effect until Jan. 15 while a state-of-the-art stress testing is conducted.

The limit effectively bans anything larger than a passenger vehicle, a low threshold Ettore said was setĀ  to err on the side of caution. Though there’s no guarantee, the real-time results of the inspections and tests throughout the next six weeks could revealĀ  that it’s safe to increase the limit to allow emergency vehicles and school buses on the bridge, he added.

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COUNTY BANS TRUCKS ON OCEANIC BRIDGE

img_8596070209The Oceanic Bridge looking south toward Rumson, as seen last July. Below, a structural element shows signs of deterioration. (Click to enlarge)

Monmouth County has effectively banned trucks from the Oceanic Bridge starting today as engineers conduct a review of the 70-year-old span’s condition.

img_8785070209A three-ton weight limit was announced by the office of county Engineer Joe Ettore yesterday. The Asbury Park Press reports that the reduction is the second in a month, and follows recent work on the drawbridge mechanism and inspections the structure, which traverses the Navesink River between Rumson and Middletown.

“We put an inspector over the side (of the bridge) to grease the mechanical components and inspect the bridge,” Ettore said. “As a result of the findings, we feel we need to downpost the weight limit. We need a more detailled look and analysis of the conditions we observed.”

County engineers and an expert on movable bridges will make an inspection of the bridge Friday, Ettore said.

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