Freeholders OK bridge reconstruction work

Fair Haven


Staff Writer

FAIR HAVEN — The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders has authorized the reconstruction of Fourth Creek Bridge.

Freeholders on Dec. 22 awarded a contract to Lucas Brothers Inc. of Marlboro to rebuild the bridge on River Road.

Lucas Brothers was the lowest of three complete bidders for the project with the low bid of $498,475, which was about 10 percent higher than the county’s estimate.

The project will be entirely funded by the 1997 County Bridge Bond Act, according to a news release from the county

Construction is scheduled to begin in February, with work to be completed within 120 days after the execution of the contract.

During 90 of those 120 days, River Road will have to be closed in both directions due to the instability of the bridge.

A detour has been established with input from local officials that will take drivers down Hance Avenue, onto Ridge Road, and back to River Road by way of Fair Haven Road, and back the other way.

Some business owners are worried about the impact the road closing will have on their walk-in business and customer satisfaction.

This worry is due more to the rumors circulating around town that the road will be closed for a longer period of time covering the entire business district, according to Angela Delucca, owner of a children’s retail shop.

“Although I know it will be somewhat of an inconvenience, I hope people will still shop,” DeLucca said

On Dec. 13, business owners met with Mayor Joseph Szostak, members of the council, borough engineers, and county representatives to discuss the impact the reconstruction might have on borough businesses.

Because of the extra traffic on Fair Haven Road, near the Viola Sickles Elementary School, a police officer will be in attendance to assist with vehicular and pedestrian traffic, especially when schoolchildren are present.

The age of the bridge is not known, but Szostak estimated it to be well over 100 years old at a recent Borough Council meeting.

According to the news release, the work to be performed entails removing a single span, four foot brick masonry arch on stone masonry skew backs and associated roadway approaches.

It will be replaced with the construction of a new 54-inch, reinforced concrete culvert pipe, consisting of reinforced concrete head walls founded on timber piles on the up and down stream sides.

The new concrete culvert head walls will be textured and colored with architectural form liner, known as “New England Dry Stack” and stained a terra cotta hue to improve aesthetics.

The project also includes reconstruction of a temporary cofferdam and about 330 feet of River Road, including new curb and sidewalks, storm sewers, beam guide rails and the temporary relocation of electrical