Officials: Troubled Shore bridge might reopen this summer

Townsends Inlet Bridge, connecting Avalon and Sea Isle City, New Jersey. (Google Maps)

Townsends Inlet Bridge, connecting Avalon and Sea Isle City, New Jersey. (Google Maps)

There’s hope that a troubled bridge connecting Avalon and Sea Isle City could reopen this summer.

The Townsends Inlet Bridge closed in Sept. 2018 to replace some of its old steel spans. Cape May County officials last summer expected the span to reopen by Memorial Day weekend, but in April, issued a statement saying that the span wouldn’t be open for summer.

That assessment appears to be changing.

“Work on the bridge project has progressed better than projected and more favorable weather conditions have aided in the accomplishment of a number of critical work activities,” the county engineer said in a statement.

The county is now targeting July 30 as the reopening date while stressing that numerous “critical construction activities” must be finished within the next three weeks “that could have an impact on the final completion date.”

Ongoing work includes bridge framing, a new decking surface, and other components, such as sidewalks and railings, that will be done when the major work concludes.

Officials say that they will provide an update in three weeks, adding that they have a “keen awareness of the inconvenience this bridge closure has on the public.”

The last maintenance project between November 2017 and May 2018 for the replacement of steel railings forced traffic to alternate through one lane.

It is one of Cape May County’s structurally deficient bridges.

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