Officials: Troubled Shore bridge on track to 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)

Officials are optimistic 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.

But in late May, officials said work had progressed “better than projected” and estimated a reopening this summer. That projection continues to remain on target, with officials saying the bridge is now set to reopen “on or about” July 30.

“[T]he County and Commission are pleased to advise that 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,” officials said in a release.

But they caution that there are “a number of critical construction activities to be completed in the next three weeks that could have an impact on the final completion date.”

The potential reopening for the last month of the summer tourism season is welcomed news for residents and visitors who have had to take a long detour between Avalon and Sea Isle City.

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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