Frequently Asked Questions

Construction

How long will construction last?

Construction will take approximately 42 months, with completion in 2025. The construction phase began in Fall 2021 and construction activities are progressing. Depending on weather and permit requirements, the Contractor will continue bridge work from the water using temporary access trestles from both Rumson and Sea Bright sides of the Shrewsbury River.

Any questions regarding this bridge construction project should be directed to the County Project Manager, Andrés Roda, at info@rumsonseabrightbridge.com or 732-431-7760. For after-hours emergencies, contact the local municipal police dispatcher and they will notify the County and appropriate Project Team members.

The Contractor is required to keep Rumson Road (CR520) open at all times. For work at the intersection of Rumson and North Ward, there may be short-term local detours that will be limited to minimize disruption. Public notification of temporary delays, detours, staging updates will be made on the Travel Advisory page of this website.

The minimum over Mean High Water is 15’0” in the closed position of the existing bridge and is anticipated to be similar for the new bridge. The Mean Low Tide clearance is approximately 18’6” and no change is anticipated.

During the LCD Study, it was determined there is not enough room to raise the height because of significant impacts to properties, roadways, and intersections at both approaches. For example, on the Sea Bright side, the intersection would have to be raised, which would impact the surrounding streets, Riverfront Park, private properties, access/driveway locations and parking.

Boat traffic will continue to be allowed and will have access via the main navigational channel under the bridge. If there are any temporary restrictions of the channel, mariners will be notified on the Travel Advisory page of this website.  Please see Public Notice of Temporary Channel Width Reduction posted on this website under Recent News (6/1/22 and 8/26/22).  The Project Team and Contractor are working in coordination with the US Coast Guard (USCG), which provides a required permit for the bridge replacement.

Please note the US Coast Guard (USCG) is a federal agency and has jurisdiction of navigable waters. A link to the USCG website can be found by clicking Useful Links at the upper right of the project website home page. There is also a link to the USCG Notice to Mariners page, which will provide information on any temporary navigational change, including any due to bridge construction activity impacting the Shrewsbury River.

Information to boaters is available on the Notice to Mariners page of the US Coast Guard (USCG) website for the Shrewsbury River and other navigational waters.  It will provide information on any temporary navigational change, including any due to bridge construction activity impacting mariners. Links to the USCG and USCG Local Notice to Mariners websites can be found by clicking Useful Links at the upper right of the project website home page. Please consult the USCG website to see if there is an opportunity to be placed on email list that distributes the notice to mariners automatically (https://www.navcen.uscg.gov).

For this bridge replacement project, any temporary changes to the navigational channel will be posted on the Travel Advisory page.  It is possible to sign-up for future communication notices or eblasts regarding this project on the Contact Us website page: (https://www.rumsonseabrightbridge.com/contact/)

The Field Office is in Rumson. The Resident Engineer and staff may be in the office or in the construction area from 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday.  The key contact for the community and public is the County Project Manager, Andrés Roda.  His office is in the Monmouth County Engineering Department in Freehold, NJ but he may be at times on the project site.  To contact Andrés Roda by email at info@rumsonseabrightbridge.com or phone at 732-431-7760.

Construction is on-going; however some field activities require permitting, utility relocation, materials delivery and other factors which impact the scheduling of individual activities involved in the bridge replacement and approach roadway improvements.   During Summer of 2022, the Contractor had crews working Monday – Thursday with longer work hours and no hours on Fridays or weekends. The Contractor’s work schedule is listed weekly on the Travel Advisory page of the project website: https://www.rumsonseabrightbridge.com/travel-advisory/

The contractor will be installing approximately 75 piles required for the new bridge. Additional piles will be installed for the temporary access trestles needed to construct the new bridge and later to demolish the existing bridge.

Pre-construction inspection surveys were required for properties within 300’ of the bridge and vibration monitoring equipment is located in the field to identify if levels exceed acceptable operating standards during construction. 

Daily construction field activity ranges between eight (8) and ten (10) consecutive hours worked, excluding lunch, with a starting time between 6:00 am and 9:00 am. No nighttime work hours are anticipated, however if needed, the Contractor would coordinate with the municipalities to address any local ordinances such as noise ordinance exception or waiver. The Contractor’s work schedule is listed weekly on the Travel Advisory page of the project website: https://www.rumsonseabrightbridge.com/travel-advisory/

Per the Board of County Commissioners agenda for 5/27/2021, the total amount awarded for construction is $107,538,389.20.

It is possible to view bridge maps, plans and renderings on the project website. From the Home Page main menu, please select About the Project and the drop-down menu option, Maps and Plans. The following link can access the page directly: https://www.rumsonseabrightbridge.com/about/maps‐and‐plans

Installation of a traffic light at the Ward Avenue/Rumson Road intersection was evaluated during the LCD Study and it was determined that operational constraints associated with bridge openings and the signal on the Sea Bright side would have detrimental effect on traffic flow. The intersection does not meet guidelines given the traffic volumes or number of crashes for warranting the installation of a traffic light. However, there will be improvements to the intersection including pedestrian flashers and painted crosswalk striping to enhance safety and encourage traffic calming.

The project design and permitting was completed in 2020, preceding the publication of the Climate Change Resiliency Strategy.  Since the start of the project in 2011, the design team has complied with the National Environmental Policy Act, including minimizing impacts to sensitive natural resources along the shoreline to the greatest extent possible.  The design team was able to limit impacts to wetlands to approximately 0.07 acres, a third of which will be restored. 

The removal of some trees was required for staging and construction in order to build the new bridge next to the existing bridge so access across the Shrewsbury River could be maintained. Trees within the footprint of the new road south of the existing bridge needed to be removed. Certain trees to the north were removed because the new road will be realigned to the north at the intersection with Ward Avenue. Three sycamores on the north side adjacent to the bridge are to remain.

The West Park landscaping plans and the tree protection and removal plans were reviewed by the Borough of Rumson. Some of the trees in West Park were moved by the Borough of Rumson and planted in another area of the community. The loss of some mature trees was unfortunate, but necessary.  New plantings including new trees are part of the final landscaping plans for West Park once construction of the new bridge and demolition of the old bridge is completed.

Existing trees in the north section of the West Park that will remain during construction will be protected by the placement of tree protection fencing at their drip line.  There are also provisions for a certified tree expert to perform monitoring during construction and means for preventing soil compaction and structural damage to the remaining trees have been included in the construction documents. The Contractor is required to de-compact any of the soil disturbed by the construction in West Park and return it to existing conditions. 

Throughout the LCD Study and the design phases, both communities coordinated with the Project Team to develop bridge replacement improvements with consideration for protecting neighborhood quality of life for residents of Rumson and Sea Bright.

The Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge replacement will have the same number of lanes as the existing bridge. The vehicle capacity will be similar, however shoulders on each side will improve safety for

cyclists and emergency vehicles when needed. The new bridge is a movable span structure with new mechanics that will open and close more efficiently to ease some vehicle congestion.

Design improvements to the Ocean Avenue (Route 36) intersection will allow better vehicle movements into and out of the beach and business properties in Sea Bright. The improved operations at the signal in Sea Bright will ease some traffic on Rumson Road. In Rumson, pedestrian safety will be improved with striping and pedestrian warning lights at Ward Avenue to enhance traffic calming in the area. In addition, the walkway under the new bridge will allow pedestrian access to each side of West Park without having to cross Rumson Road.

Improvements or enhancements to the existing Sea Bright Park are not part of this bridge construction scope. With the bridge replacement occurring to the south, the project doesn’t directly impact the park, which is under the Borough of Sea Bright jurisdiction and is identified as part of NJDEP Green Acres Program.

The Dunkin Donuts adjacent to the bridge permanently closed in December 2020. The Project Team had hoped the building could remain standing along with the Dunkin Donuts. However, an engineering analysis revealed that the support system for the new bulkhead to be located on the property and encompassing the easterly bridge abutment required that the building needed to be demolished. The entire property including the building is necessary for the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge replacement project. The replacement of this critical 70-year-old bridge on a costal evacuation route is necessary due to its age and condition. Monmouth County has followed all federal and state requirements for determining the scope of the work for the bridge replacement project. Monmouth County had attempted and continued to assist the owners of the Dunkin Donuts to find another location in Sea Bright. The property is now under the jurisdiction of Monmouth County.

The demolition of the Dunkin Donuts building in Sea Bright was dependent on weather, permits, and other related requirements. Once the Contractor completes construction of the bridge replacement and approach roadway improvements, the remaining property will be under the jurisdiction of Monmouth County.

Monmouth County, and the cooperating agencies of NJDOT, NJTPA and FHWA, are committed to developing transportation improvements that best balance transportation needs, the environment, community concerns and cost. As part of the Community Outreach effort, numerous meetings were held during the planning and design development of the bridge replacement project. Community outreach will continue during the Construction phase using this project website for information exchange.  A Construction Phase Public Information Center (PIC) meeting was held and the presentation slides, summary report and comments received can be viewed on the Community Outreach page of this website.

Please:

  • Check this website regularly for updated information
  • Sign-up for email news blasts and/or the mailing list for future public notifications
  • Use the online General Comment Form for any suggestions or questions

LCD Study, Local Preliminary Engineering, and Final Design Phases

What is the schedule for the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge S-32 replacement project?

The following are the completed phases and the proposed schedule for construction:

LCD Project Schedule (Major Milestones Completed)

Develop Project Purpose and Need Statement May 2012
Development of Conceptual Alternatives July 2012
Selection of Preliminary Preferred Alternative November 2012
Submission of Draft Concept Development Report February 2013
Completion of Concept Development Phase April 2013

LPE Project Schedule (Major Milestones Completed)

Environmental Documentation Completed Fall 2016
Submission of Preliminary Engineering Report Fall 2016
Completion of Preliminary Engineering Phase Spring 2017

Final Design Project Schedule (Major Milestones Completed)

Environmental Documentation and Permits Spring 2020
Submission of Final Design Plans Spring 2020
Completion of Final Design Phase Summer 2020

Construction Project Schedule (Major Milestones Anticipated)

Award of Construction Contract Spring 2021
Start of Construction Field Activity Late Summer 2021
Completion of Construction Fall 2024

The Rumson Sea Bright Bridge is a movable double-leaf bascule bridge because of the double spans that open the river way for marine vessels to move up and down the Shrewsbury River:

  • Bridge spans the Shrewsbury River connecting the Borough of Rumson and the Borough of Sea Bright.
  • Year Built: 1950 (rehabilitation work in 2002 & 2013).
  • Bridge type: double-leaf bascule bridge.
  • Overall length: 661 feet.
  • Bridge roadway width: 52’ – 5”.
  • Bridge clearance in closed position: 15 feet (at MHW).

The Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge was built in 1950 and is approaching 70 years old. Presently, it has structural and functional limitations that don’t meet today’s design standards. Due to its age, the bridge has deteriorated over time and routine maintenance can no longer address the deficiencies.

Age and deterioration, increased traffic volume and loads (weight of vehicles), and the potential for severe storms to disrupt normal operations are some of the reasons why this bridge no longer operates well and is in need of replacement if it is to continue to function and provide a viable crossing of the Shrewsbury River connecting the Borough of Rumson with the Borough of Sea Bright.  Both Rumson Road (CR520) in Rumson and Ocean Avenue (State Route 36) in Sea Bright are identified as important roadways for the local communities and the region.

Age and Physical Condition.  The bridge was built in 1950 and significant rehabilitation of the bridge was done in 2002 and 2013. Now it is beyond its serviceable life at nearly 70 years old. The bridge is in serious overall condition. The bridge is structurally deficient with its superstructure in poor physical condition with observed fatigue cracks found in numerous steel members and loss of section at panel point joints of most below deck truss members. The substructure is in satisfactory condition but has a moderate potentially vulnerability to scour. The bridge’s mechanical machinery and electrical system are in poor condition; reaching the end of their serviceable life.

Load Capacity.  The bridge is inspected every two years.  It has not been load posted to restrict weight capacity, however if the deterioration of the steel support members advances it may become necessary, if replacement is not implemented. The non-redundant design is fracture critical and existing components are overstressed under modern design loads.

Highway Safety. Parapets and railings do not meet current crash standards.  Approach guide rails and bridge end treatments do not meet current design standards.

Public Safety. There is no intercommunication system for local communication, fire alarm system, aircraft warning lights or lighting protection for the control and gate houses.

Seismic.  The bridge is susceptible to seismic forces and does not meet current seismic design standards.

Storms. Rumson Road (CR520) is an important route and the bridge maintains an essential transportation connection for the Rumson and Sea Bright communities as a vital link to and from each area for residents and businesses. The preliminary engineering design plans for the roadway and bridge improvements will allow for better traffic flow, shoulders for increased safety and emergency access, continuous sidewalk access from each side of the Shrewsbury River, and relief from storm-related issues for both communities and the County as a major coastal evacuation route.

During the LCD Study and the Local Preliminary Engineering and Final Design Phases the bridge and roadway improvements were developed and with resolution of support by local and County officials, the bridge replacement was determined. The bridge and streetscape such as railing, lighting, signage and intersection traffic calming aspects were decided during the Final Design Phase. The County of Monmouth and cooperating agencies, will continue to share project information and seek community input on traffic staging during the Construction phase of the project.

During the LCD Study phase, the project purpose and need for improvements for all modes of transportation were taken into consideration regarding the bridge: pedestrians, cyclists, transit, vehicular, and marine types of activity and access. The project team received input from the local officials and community stakeholders to understand what pedestrian and bicycle mobility and access is needed. Bike and pedestrians improvements are part of the final design plans, that can be viewed under Maps and Plans from the project website home page.

The cost of the LCD Study was $500,000. The cost of the LPE Phase was $950,000. The cost of the Final Design Phase was $7.9 million. The LCD & PE phases were funded with Federal dollars. The FD Phase was funded with State dollars, to be reimbursed by the Federal government. The Construction cost is $107.5 million and is funded with Federal dollars.

A Local Concept Development (LCD) Study is the first phase of the Local Project Delivery Process for transportation improvements. A transportation problem has been identified, such as the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge in such poor condition. It is the first step to bridge improvements. The County of Monmouth filed an application with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) who oversees this phase of the project, known as Local Concept Development (LCD). During this phase a well-defined and well-justified Purpose and Need Statement was developed focusing on the need to improve safety and maintain the current crossing over the Shrewsbury River. The LCD Phase elements also included data collection; coordination with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), community stakeholders, and permitting agencies; the development of a reasonable number of sensible and practical conceptual alternatives; the determination of a Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA), and to investigate all aspects of the project. These aspects included environmental, right of way, access, utilities, design, community involvement, constructability, and cost analysis. (See NJTPA LCD flowchart)

The LCD Study and engineering findings to date have revealed the following:

  • Bridge in serious overall condition and is Structurally Deficient.
  • Sufficiency Rating = 25.0 (out of 100).
  • Superstructure in poor condition: Rating = 4 out of 10 (localized advanced material losses to steel truss members and to girders & floor beams.).
  • Bridge may soon need to be load posted due to advancing deterioration of steel support members.
  • Substructure is in poor condition.
  • Bridge is scour critical.
  • Bridge railings are substandard.
  • Bridge operating machinery in overall fair condition but has no span lock system as required by AASHTO.
  • Bridge electrical system in overall fair condition with many obsolete components (ex. manually operated barrier gates).
  • Bridge opening duration (xx minutes) does not meet AASHTO standards (1 minute to both open and close).
  • Bridge needs approximately $10 M in remedial repairs.
  • Existing bridge cannot be widened due to bridge type.

Environmental resources that may influence the development of conceptual alternatives and design include wetlands, threatened and endangered species, aquatic life and submerged aquatic vegetation, noise and air quality, hazardous materials, archeology, historic buildings or structures and socioeconomic considerations.

NJTPA is administering the project, however the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides the funding. Any transportation projects receiving Federal funding must also follow the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. During the LCD Study, any environmental concerns were identified and an environmental profile was developed. When analyzing alternatives, one looks to avoid or minimize environmental impacts and if that’s not possible then to provide mitigation. The environmental resources include air, noise, hazardous or contaminated sites, parks, wetlands, water resources, social and economic impacts, and cultural resources such as historic structures and facilities.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Bureau of Environmental Resources (BEPR) oversees this aspect of the project in cooperation with NJTPA, and Monmouth County to coordinate with the permitting agencies such as NJDEP and NJSHPO (New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office) to develop a cohesive plan for proposed improvements. The agencies look carefully at comments from the public and thus community involvement is an important part of environmental process and moving the project forward with consensus and environmental compliance. The results of the environmental screening, were presented at the public meetings. The approved Purpose & Need Statement and documentation is important for the review agencies to work well with the project team in moving the project forward from the earlier phases into design and construction phases. Community involvement is an integral part of this process.

The Study results determined that there is a need to widen the bridge. The existing bridge structure can not be widened however with the replacement, the new bridge structure will provide for shoulders as part of the improvements to address the project transportation needs and safety.

The primary task of stakeholders and engaging public opinion was to assist Monmouth County in the development of the proposed bridge and roadway improvements. The County and Project Team appreciated knowing how the local community uses the bridge, any current traffic problems and how the public would benefit from the final design plans for the bridge replacement and approach roadway improvements. Community Outreach during the planning stages was a vital part of the successful implementation of the transportation improvement delivery process and the Project Team will continue to encourage the community to follow, participate and ensure awareness and effective communication during the Construction phase of the project.

Public meetings are a good way to make your voice heard and insure a successful project further down the road.  If you are unable to attend a meeting, you can keep tabs on new project developments by visiting this project website and reviewing the meeting reports and PowerPoint presentations.  Naturally, coming out to an in-person public meeting or attending an online public meeting is the best way to stay involved and get your answers first hand with the project team present.  However, if you still have questions we’ve made it easy for you to reach the Project Team and your County official directly by using the General Comment/Question Form.

Monmouth County and the cooperating agencies of NJTPA and NJDOT, encourages community members to voice their concerns and contribute suggestions to the Project Team.  To provide input, attend one of the public meetings or contact:

Contact Information

Joseph Ettore, P.E.
Monmouth County Engineer 

Andrés Roda, P.E.
Monmouth County Project Manager

732-431-7760
info@rumsonseabrightbridge.com

Monmouth County Division of Engineering

Hall of Records Annex, 1 East Main Street, 3rd Floor
Freehold, NJ  07728

Local Project Delivery Process

Purpose & Need Statement

Data Collection & Environmental Screening Report

Selection of Preliminary Preferred Alternative

Concept Development Report

NEPA Classification

Create Design Communications Report

Approved Design Exception Report

Cost Estimates (Final Design, ROW & Construction)

Approved Environmental Document

Approved Project Plan

Preliminary Engineering Report

Update Design Communications Report

Continued Public Outreach & Involvement

Construction Contract Documents & PS&E Package

Environmental Reevaluations

Environmental Permits

Acquisition of ROW

Update Design Communications Report

Continued Public Outreach & Involvement

Implement and Complete Construction

Continue Public Outreach

As-Builts

Update and Finalize Design Communications Report

Close-out Documentation

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