Traveling through the heart of northeastern Monmouth County got a lot easier this week after State,County and Local officials celebrated the reopening of the West Front Street Bridge, AKA Hubbard’s Bridge, that connects Middletown and Red Bank over the Swimming River.
The five month long replacement project that came in as promised before the Memorial Day weekend.
The opening follows the construction of a new 488-foot long steel girder bridge to the north of the existing West Front Street Bridge.
The new bridge is 44-feet wide with two 12-foot travel lanes and four-foot shoulders and six-foot sidewalks in both directions. The new bridge provides approximately nine feet of vertical clearance above mean high water elevation; there will be approximately 72 feet of horizontal clearance within the navigable channel of the Swimming River.
“Local residents, commuters and travelers have been looking forward to this day since January 5,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the county’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. “The 19-week closure was difficult for motorists, but it was necessary. Today we are pleased to provide residents and commuters with a new bridge that will safely serve their needs for a very long time.”
“The construction schedule was set to create limited disruption to the travelling public,” Freeholder Lillian G. Burry said. “The project began in August 2013 and required a less than five month closure and detour.”
In the area of the Bridge, construction work will be ongoing through April 2016. In addition to the bridge removal, concrete sidewalks will be completed that will provide an ADA accessible route from Hubbard Avenue in Middletown to Rector Place/Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank. The contractor will continue working on the parapets and sidewalk for the bridge, which include the installation of the new ornamental lighting for the Bridge.
“The architectural enhancements already in place include a decorative recessed brick panel parapet with a decorative ball and cap railing,” said Freeholder Serena DiMaso. “The look complements the nearby Rt. 35 Bridge and creates a wonderful gateway to both communities.”
The bridge project also includes the removal of overhead wires to under the bridge deck, minor roadway widening on the bridge approaches, improved storm water drainage, highway lighting and new guide rail treatments.
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders thanked Senator Joe Kyrillos Jr. for helping to secure the funding for the replacement bridge through the state Transportation Trust Fund.
“It has been my pleasure to assist Monmouth County in securing the funding for this important connection between two towns,” Kyrillos said. “For a lot of people, the West Front Street Bridge makes a big difference in their lives; working cooperatively at all levels of government ensures that are residents have safe roads, bridges and communities.”
The project is being funded by the Federal Highway Administration and NJDOT’s Transportation Trust Fund. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority is assisting with the project as well.