Right on schedule, the Oceanic Bridge opened to traffic between Rumson and Middletown this morning.
Working around the clock, in 12-hour shifts, Harms Construction Co. Inc. of Howell has performed repair and restoration work on all four of the bridge’s main bearings that are used to support the bascule and flanking spans on the bridge approaches.
The bridge was closed on May 26 due to the needed repairs that were discovered during an overhaul that was to have been completed in April. The construction of the emergency repairs was scheduled to allow the bridge to open during the last two weekends.
“We appreciate the patience of the local residents, business owners and visitors while we conducted this necessary repair,” said Freeholder Tom Arnone who “The Oceanic Bridge is an important connector in the Two River area. We need to keep the bridge open and operational as we plan for its eventual replacement.”
The job is not quite done yet. Repairs will continue overnight, from 10:30 p.m. till 6:30 a.m. through starting Sunday night June 14 through Friday June 19, weather permitting, during which times the bridge will be closed.
The 2,712-foot drawbridge crosses the Navesink River and serves beach, commercial and residential traffic, as well as pedestrian and bicycle travel. It is also a key route for coastal evacuations and emergency vehicles headed to hospitals or providing mutual aid. The bridge has been classified as structurally deficient.
Built in 1939, the Oceanic Bridge has deteriorated due to decades of exposure to saltwater and from accommodating heavier vehicles and traffic volumes than for which it was designed.
Monmouth County plans to replace the Oceanic Bridge in the next ten years.