CREST HAVEN - The Townsend's Inlet Bridge is scheduled to reopen July 26, conditioned on final work element completion over the next few days.
That announcement was made in a July 22 joint release from freeholders and the Cape May County Bridge Commission.
“We are delighted to see this critical component of barrier island infrastructure connecting the communities of Sea Isle City and Avalon is just days away from being restored to service,” stated Carol Brand, commission chairman. “Both the commission and county freeholders know how important the Townsend's Inlet Bridge is to the summer tourism economy," she added.
Remaining work includes approach guide rail installation; saw cutting the bridge deck and approach slabs, touch-up painting, installation of bridge joint seals, traffic striping, and final cleanup.
Immediately after the bridge is striped for traffic, the county will issue a follow-up media notice confirming it will be open for traffic July 26, as presently scheduled.
Since becoming aware of the delays associated with significant construction complications occurring within the challenging marine environment, the County Engineer’s Office and Bridge Commission have worked closely and collaboratively with the contractor and engineering teams in order to accelerate all bridgework as quickly as practically possible.
The county has allocated resources in addition to the original contract obligations in order to enable the contractor to advance work elements concurrently and to consolidate the work schedule.
The contractor has also modified the means and methods of construction where possible and has worked additional shifts with additional crews in order to obtain the earliest opening date feasible.
All this was done with a focus on maintaining required work quality and standards.
“I am very pleased with the enthusiasm and tireless effort of the entire team towards making the absolute best of a difficult and challenging situation,” noted Freeholder Will Morey. “On behalf of the county, I extend my appreciation and heartfelt thanks to County Engineer Bob Church, Commission Engineer Lou Donofrio, Project Engineers Joe Ragusa and Dante Silvestro of Remington and Vernick Engineers, and Agate Construction Company Project Manager Jeff Davis and his entire construction team. The entire team worked in unison and stayed focused on the ultimate objective of opening the bridge as early in the summer season as possible.”
The Townsend's Inlet Bridge connects Sea Isle City and Avalon and is a link for traffic flow along the Ocean Drive causeway.
The span was originally scheduled to reopen for the Memorial Day Weekend after spans 1-7 had been replaced.