Fri Oct 09 2020 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Reopening of Ridgeway Boulevard Bridge

Motorists can again use the Ridgeway Boulevard Bridge, here, now that work on replacing the span has been completed.

"The opening of the new bridge on Oct. 8 is the last piece of a combination of projects that have resulted in a completely upgraded corridor for township residents, many of whom live in communities along the route," said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, in announcing the opening of the bridge. "The new bridge, new paving and new traffic signals will result in a safer traffic flow along Ridgeway Boulevard, and Routes 571 and 547."

The replacement of Ridgeway Boulevard Bridge included the removal of the existing bridge and construction of a new bridge to cross the Ridgeway Branch of the Toms River.

"This bridge, originally built in 1955, and underwent a partial rehabilitation in 1999, had been showing signs of distress and section loss to the existing timber load bearing piles and concrete stub abutments," Kelly said. "We replaced the span with a new structure that is safer, stronger and meets all of today's standards."

The new bridge is 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 is 40 feet.

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

"The new bridge is designed to handle additional traffic and is built to meet our future needs," Kelly said.

The bridge construction had hit some snags early on due to utility relocation delays.

"We worked closely with the utility companies in order to move the project along," Kelly said.

Bad weather had resulted in utility workers being relocated to other areas away from the bridge project.

The county's contractor started the demolition of the existing bridge and the original span had been removed in January. Based on the delays encountered, the County expected the bridge construction to be completed by mid-August.

"Delays in moving utilities and also some environmental constraints resulted in the project taking longer than the construction schedule that was originally created," said Ocean County Engineer John Ernst. "With all of that behind us, the work is completed and motorists have a road that is now state of the art."

Work to improve Ridgeway Boulevard in Manchester Township has been ongoing since early 2018. Projects that had been completed include the installation of the traffic signal on Route 547 and the realignment of Ridgeway Boulevard by developer Pulte Homes as a condition of the Ocean County Planning Board approval for the River Pointe Development. The new signal was activated in May 2019 allowing the County to start the reconstruction and resurfacing of Ridgeway Boulevard.

The County Road Department resurfaced Ridgeway Boulevard from the railroad crossing to just south of Ridgeway Boulevard Bridge during the month of October 2019.

The reconstruction and resurfacing of Ridgeway Boulevard also included replacing approximately 2,000 linear feet of drainage pipe, installing a new traffic signal at the intersection with County Route 571 (Ridgeway Road) and resurfacing and reconstructing 2,000 linear feet of roadway.