The Monmouth County bridge that crosses Havens Bridge Road in Howell Township collapsed on Saturday, May 9. The bridge had been closed for weeks prior to the failure due to damage discovered during an inspection by employees of the County Public Works and Engineering Department.
News of the collapse was first reported on the Our Howell NJ facebook community page.
“Thank God we closed the bridge before this happened and no one got hurt,” said Freeholder Tom Arnone, liaison to the Public Works Department, when confirming the collapse.
Arnone said the bridge was closed after an inspection revealed that timber piles had rotted on the inside. Last weekend the pier failed and the bridge deck dropped 4-5 feet.
Monmouth County engineers had a special meeting regarding the bridge with representatives of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday. The County will be submitting drawings for replacement bridge to DEP within two days. Verbal approval for the replacement project is expected by Tuesday of next week.
Emergency bidding procedures will be employed to hire the contractor to replace the bridge. Arnone said that three contractors who have previously worked for the county will be invited to bid on the project. Arnone expects the new bridge to be completed in 4-5 months.