Friday, February 17th, 2017
SMALL BRIDGE IS PARTIALLY CLOSED DUE TO STRUCTURAL DEFECTS
A small arch bridge on Hardscrabble Road, which runs along the border of Mendham Borough and Mendham Township, has structural problems that has caused its partial closure today and will require emergency replacement, Morris County, Mendham Borough and Mendham Township officials are announcing this morning.
The problem came to the attention of the Morris County Bridge Division on Wednesday. They found that the bridge has developed a large foundational crack and the parapet wall has partially failed.
County officials met with a consulting engineer at the bridge on Thursday to examine the bridge and develop a plan of action. The result was a decision 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. County bridge staff will continue to monitor the situation.
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.
The county has asked its consultant to expedite the design of a replacement structure, and anticipates a preliminary design within two weeks. It will request an expedited New Jersey Department of Environmental protection permit review.
The county then will bid the project for expedited construction, seeking to replace the existing bridge with a comparably sized elliptical pipe or precast concrete 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.