Ocean County is drawing closer to replacing the Ridgeway Boulevard Bridge which spans across the Ridgeway Branch of the Toms River in Manchester Township.

The Ocean County Freeholders is scheduled to approve advertising for contractors to replace the 64-year old bridge during the Board’s July 2 meeting.

Bids are expected to be received by the end of July.

“This bridge underwent a partial rehabilitation in 1999 but it has been showing signs of distress and section loss to the existing timber load bearing piles and concrete stub abutments,” Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director John Kelly, who serves as Director of Law and Public Safety, said. “We will be replacing the span with a new structure that is safer, stronger and meets all of today’s standards.”

The proposed bridge will be a single-span, 54 feet long adjacent precast concrete box beam superstructure, supported on cast-in-place concrete wing walls.

The width of the new structure will be 40 feet.

The current bridge is 30 feet wide.

“Ocean County maintains more than 250 bridges and culverts,” Ocean County Freeholder Director Virginia Haines, who serves as co-chair with Freeholder Kelly of the Ocean County Engineering Department, said. “Maintaining our infrastructure so that our motorists and pedestrians have safe roads and bridges is a priority of this Board.”

The project also includes the installation of new guide rail and some reconstruction of the bridge approaches.

“The new bridge is designed to handle additional traffic and will be built to meet our future needs,” Kelly said.

The project is expected to take eight months to complete.

A full detour will be in place during the time of construction.

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