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 route 70 bridge over manasquan river - september 11 memorial bridge

Overview


The $52 million project to replace the Route 70 bridge over the Manasquan River in Brick Township, Ocean County and Borough of Brielle, Monmouth County began in early 2006. It will be completed by December 2010. Currently, the project is ahead of schedule. The work will be done in stages, some of which will require brief detours.

Besides replacing the bridge, the work includes widening and reconstructing Route 70 from Herbertsville Road in Brick Township to the intersection with Riverview Drive in Brielle. The communities have been active participants in this project.

Architectural rendering of the new bridge
Architectural rendering of the new bridge

The public will be able to get information from variable message signs, radio traffic reports, real time traffic information, NJcommuter.com and other online and electronic outlets at schools and workplaces.

In September 2004, the bridge was designated the "September 11 Memorial Bridge" in remembrance of the 170 people from Monmouth and Ocean counties who died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Memorial architecture has been incorporated into the project.

Route 70, including the bridge over the Manasquan River is a coastal evacuation route. The bridge is a gateway to both Monmouth and Ocean counties and serves vehicular, pedestrian and marine traffic. The existing movable bridge opens on schedule for marine traffic which causes delays to vehicular traffic. The current Route 70 roadway is inadequate to handle the traffic volume of 32,300 vehicles a day.  
aerial photo of the route 70 over the manasquan river bridge
Prior to construction, this aerial view is looking east towards the Atlantic Ocean. The existing Route 70 over Manasquan River bridge is in the foreground, and the Route 35 Bridge over Manasquan River is in the background.

route 70 manasquan river bridge map graphic

This project is one component of a comprehensive infrastructure improvement of the Route 70 corridor from Jack Martin Boulevard to the Brielle Circle.

Community Outreach
Throughout the development of the project the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has made a continuous effort to involve the local communities of Brick, Point Pleasant, Wall and Brielle. The ongoing communication between NJDOT, the residents and public officials has resulted in significant revisions and improvements to the project footprint. Some examples are reducing the height of the bridge clearance from 40 feet to 25 feet, providing ramps at the intersection of Route 70 and River Road/Riviera Drive and constructing a noise wall in Brielle.

The project also addresses the community's need for a well-balanced, aesthetically pleasing structure that fits into this unique river environment. Since being designated as the "September 11 Memorial Bridge", the project scope was enhanced to include architectural treatments to the piers and parapets, monuments, signage, plantings and a public access platform.

Ongoing cooperation will continue to ensure timely responses to community issues that may arise during construction. Meetings will be posted.

Background
Constructed in 1936, the original bridge is 625-feet long with a single leaf bascule span over the navigation channel. The 17 approach spans are supported on reinforced concrete pile bents. It has been necessary to retrofit the bridge with a sprinkler system to prevent the bridge from becoming stuck in the open position during the summer months. The existing bridge is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete with 11-foot travel lanes, a 50-foot navigation channel and 15-foot vertical underclearance.

Bridge replacement alternatives including 40', 27' and 25' fixed and movable spans were investigated for the replacement. All alternatives considered the function of the local roadway network, alignment of the proposed roadway and constructability. A vessel height survey was performed using state-of-the-art reflectorless survey equipment, interviewing local marina owners and conducting public information sessions with the community stakeholders. Based on these extensive studies, the bridge height was set to provide a 25-foot vertical underclearance for marine traffic and the navigation channel opening was shifted and widened to 75 feet.

photo of original bridge
Original bridge built in 1936

 
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  Last Updated:  September 26, 2008
September 26, 2008September 26, 2008