Divers work underwater on Broadway bridge repairs

Divers were at work beneath the bridge on Broadway in Point Pleasant Beach after an inspection found the pilings were deteriorated. [PHOTO MARK R.SULLIVAN]

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Divers in full gear were at work beneath the bridge on Broadway spanning Cook’s Creek, Wednesday, Sept. 5, preparing the deteriorated wooden pilings for emergency repairs.

A sign, “Danger, diver in the water,” was hung over the side of the bridge by crews for Walker Diving Underwater Construction to signal a diver at work beneath the span.

At the end of the day Sept. 4, traffic was closed off in one of the two westbound lanes of the Richard E. Lane Bridge while repairs were underway.

In a press release last week, county officials explained the scope of the project and the conditions that make it necessary.

“The emergency repairs consist of shoring up some of the bridge’s 56 wood pilings. A biannual state inspection of the bridge showed that six of the pilings needed emergency repair due to deterioration and several others required repair within three months,” according to Ocean County.

During the primary repairs to the span, which are expected to take about a month to complete, the three-ton weight limit currently in place will remain.

To complete initial repairs, the construction crew will wrap the wooden pilings with a fiberglass sleeve before using concrete and steel reinforcement to “restore the integrity of the piling.”

According to Ocean County Engineer John Ernst, the repairs will be followed by a three-month second phase of repairs.

“We responded to the state’s report immediately, first, by lowering the weight limit on the span and also securing a contractor that could do the work,” Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, liaison to the Ocean County Engineering Department, said in the news release.

Vehicles that meet the weight limit can continue to traffic the bridge, while a separate route has been established for other traffic using Baltimore Avenue to Arnold Avenue to Ocean Avenue.

For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.