Cape May County bridge to reopen after large crack forced closure

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    A bridge providing an important linkage between Stone Harbor and the mainland will reopen tomorrow after emergency repairs forced its closure for nearly a month. 

    The Stone Harbor Bridge over the Great Channel, known as the 96th Street Bridge, was closed since late October. It is now slated to reopen by late tomorrow afternoon. 

    A vertical crack was discovered in a girder near the pivoting point of the two movable leaves that open to allow for the passage of marine vessels, Cape May County Engineer Dale Foster said in a release. 

    A crew from Michael Baker International was performing electrical, mechanical, and safety inspections of the bridge last month but “there were no signs of a crack in the girder” at that time, Foster said. The span had just undergone a state safety test. 

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    The engineer tells the Press of Atlantic City that crews repaired the movable span using a temporary prefabricated truss, technology used during World War II, to jack the cracked girder into position in order to fix the crack. Additional rehabilitation work is possible in the future. 

    Motorists have been using North Wildwood Boulevard/Ocean Drive and Avalon Boulevard/Ocean Drive as alternate routes. Boats have also been unable to pass due to the repair work. 

    The 96th Street Bridge was originally constructed in 1930, with improvements in the early 1980s and late 1990s.

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