Posted Thursday, January 23rd, 2020
The Chestnut Terrace bridge replacement project in Rockaway Township took a major stride toward completion this week when a precast structure was delivered and installment begun on what could lead to at least a partial reopening of the bridge in the next four-to-eight weeks, winter weather permitting.
Construction crews guided the structure into place on Tuesday and are now moving ahead with the final key stages of the $675,000 project to replace a bridge that normally carries about 1,900 vehicles daily.
The goal is to reopen the bridge to vehicles this winter and to complete finishing touches to the bridge in the spring. But engineers caution that a long spell of severe cold or major snowstorms could delay the opening until the spring, as well.
“We are making every effort to move this project along as quickly as possible — while ensuring high quality work — to minimize inconvenience to Rockaway Township residents,” said Freeholder Stephen Shaw, the Board of Freeholders liaison to road and bridge projects.
The county has been coordinating this project closely with both Rockaway Borough and Rockaway Township, as both municipalities heavily utilize this area for traveling and recreation activities.
The well-traveled county bridge has had one lane shut down since late last year after a visual inspection of the span turned up some settlement in the roadway. A bridge maintenance crew found several severely deteriorated beams, prompting the county to immediately install a steel plate over the area that settled. Vehicular access was reduced to one lane to keep vehicles off the damaged portion.
Due to the age of the bridge, a full replacement was considered the most prudent response to the deterioration. The county drafted a request for proposals earlier this year to get a design for a new span done quickly.
The bridge project began in late October when the span was completely closed and a 1.5-mile detour was set up.
The proposed replacement will consist of a pre-cast structure, with white picket style fencing to be mounted and sidewalks created on both sides of the bridge.
Reivax Contracting of Newark is the contractor on the project, which is being funded by the county and is being done in coordination with Rockaway Township and Rockaway Borough.
Chestnut Terrace Bridge, or county bridge number 1400-889 was built in 1971 and received major repairs in 1990. It is a short distance from Mt. Hope Road.
The 1.5-mile detour takes motorists on Academy Street, Wall Street and Chestnut Terrace.