WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes and West Windsor Township Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh cut a ribbon today to officially reopen the Big Bear Brook Bridge on Old Trenton Road.
The original 83-year-old bridge, which carries the road over Big Bear Brook, had been deemed "structurally deficient" and was the lowest rated bridge under Mercer County jurisdiction. The bridge was completely rebuilt.
"This project was a top priority for Mercer County and also the township," said Hughes. "Our DOT did an excellent job identifying this bridge and working diligently toward its reconstruction. This project was an important piece toward modernizing our aging infrastructure."
The bridge had been closed since Feb. 14 and construction was expected to take 120 days, but the project was completed six weeks early, Hughes said.
While never in danger of collapse, the bridge had exposed reinforced steel and a low weight limit for vehicles. The new bridge spans 22.5 feet with two lanes 12 feet wide, two shoulders 3 feet wide, and two sidewalks 6 feet wide. It also has no weight restriction. The old bridge was restricted to a 7-ton weight limit and had no sidewalks.
Mayor Hsueh, who joined Hughes in cutting the ribbon April 24 along with local residents, said the bridge's repair had added importance because Old Trenton Road is heavily traveled by residents.
"I'm very pleased and thankful that the County ensured that this bridge was replaced, and that it was finished six weeks early to minimize the impact on traffic," Hsueh said.
The Bear Brook Bridge reconstruction also marked the first time the County used its new, solar-powered traffic signal. The traffic signal is fully mobile and because it operates on solar power, it can be deployed anywhere in Mercer to reroute traffic during transportation projects.
Midlantic Construction, LLC of Manasquan, N.J., performed the reconstruction at a cost of $528,600.