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Posted Friday, February 24th, 2017


Side view of Hardscrabble Road bridge

Side view of Hardscrabble Road bridge

Morris County has hired an engineering firm to design repairs to the Hardscrabble Road bridge in the Mendhams, which was partially closed last week due to structural defects that were discovered.

Johnson Mirmiran & Thompson (JMT), a Trenton-based engineering and architectural firm, is proceeding with the design for repairs, with bid documents, detour and cost estimates to be prepared on an expedited basis.

While that effort proceeds, the county’s Bridge Division will continue to monitor bridge safety.

The small arch bridge, which runs along the border of Mendham Borough and Mendham Township, has structural problems that has caused its partial closure and will require emergency repairs, Morris County, Mendham Borough and Mendham Township officials announced last Friday.

Underside view of the bridge

Underside view of the bridge

The problem came to the attention of the Morris County Bridge Division two days earlier. They found that the bridge has developed a large foundational crack and the parapet wall has partially failed.

After meeting with a consulting engineer, a decision was made to immediately reduce the roadway to one lane, keeping vehicles off the damaged section of the bridge, while installing emergency signage.

The remaining portion of the bridge, which is located a few hundred feet south of Corey Lane and Cherry Lane, is in acceptable condition to continue to allow the safe flow of traffic.

The stone masonry arch bridge is just six-feet long and 30-feet wide. It carries an average of 450 vehicles daily over a tributary to the Passaic River.

A 2012 inspection report provided by the New Jersey Department of Transportation did not report any issues or problems with the bridge on Hardscrabble Road. There has not been any subsequent state inspection of the bridge, which is on a 5-year inspection cycle.

In addition to asking its consultant to expedite the design of the repairs to the structure, the county also will request an expedited New Jersey Department of Environmental protection permit review.

The county then will bid the project for expedited construction, seeking to repair the existing the stone masonry arch structure.  Construction would require a full roadway closure and detour for about two weeks. County officials will work closely with both Mendham Borough and Mendham Township on the project.