RED BANK – Hubbard’s Bridge, completed on schedule and just about on budget, reopened to welcoming vehicles and pedestrians this week after a long closure but the project won’t be completely finished until April 2016.
The newly constructed bridge spanning the Swimming River on West Front Street had its first vehicles and pedestrians, as well as county officials acknowledging a job well done on Monday.
The project was completed as the Monmouth County freeholders promised – prior to the Memorial Day weekend and costing $12.9 million, up from the initially projected $12.7 million, said Joseph Ettore, county engineer.
The reason for the increase was the added cost of removal and disposal of regulated material. “That was the most significant change to the project,” Ettore said.
There remains “significant work” on the project, including a portion of the southern sidewalk in the area of the NJ Transit train trestle and the big job of dismantling and removal of the old bridge, according to Ettore.
The bridge has been closed to all traffic since January as workers strived to complete the bridge by the May deadline, necessitating the detour of traffic for that time. “We recognized it had a significant impact on traffic,” Ettore acknowledged, but adding, “The project was planned for when it would have the smallest impact on traffic.”
“I think people are appreciative of the new bridge,” and complaints have been minimal, said Freeholder Director Gary Rich.
– By John Burton
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