TRENTON – New Jersey Department of Transportation officials today announced the start of a major rehabilitation of the Route 35 drawbridge over Cheesequake Creek connecting Old Bridge and Sayreville.
The $25 million project will replace the bridge decks, sidewalks, railings and median on the 70-year-old structure. The deck joints and structural steel elements will be repaired and the bridge will be repainted. The out-dated electrical/mechanical systems on the movable bascule span will also be rehabilitated and new safety barrier gates will be installed.
The contractor, Agate Construction Co., has begun field office and equipment set up and will start initial construction operations on the bridge approaches this week.
The Department of Transportation has designed the bridge rehabilitation to be accomplished in stages, working on one side of the bridge at a time. Removing live traffic from the side of the bridge being worked on will facilitate faster and safer rehabilitation operations.
Construction operations to rehabilitate the southbound side of the bridge are scheduled to begin later this fall. To accommodate that work, the southbound side of the bridge will be closed with two-way traffic shifted onto the northbound travel lanes. Route 35 will be reduced from two travel lanes in each direction to one travel lane, which will be maintained at all times. This stage of construction is anticipated to last six months, at which time traffic will be shifted onto the newly rehabilitated southbound bridge and work will begin on the northbound side.
Notification will be provided in advance of these major traffic pattern changes.
The existing 710-foot long bridge carries approximately 35,000 vehicles per day over the Cheesequake Creek and a Route 35 U-turn ramp. The structure has deteriorated over time, requiring costly, annual maintenance work to keep it operational.
The project is anticipated to be complete by fall 2013.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check www.511nj.org for real-time travel information.
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