Officials: Troubled Shore bridge to remain closed through ‘late 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)

Anyone traveling between Avalon and Sea Isle City will have to pack a bit more patience this summer.

The Townsends Inlet Bridge closed in Sept. 2018 due to the need to replace some of its old steel spans. County officials last summer expected the span to reopen by Memorial Day weekend.

But despite adding additional workers and work shifts, officials say the bridge will not be open for the busy summer season due to delays “resulting from weather, tidal events, and the overall complexity of the project,” a Cape May County news release announced.

“Several construction challenges, including those associated with demolition, underwater salvage operations, and subsurface geotechnical complications have adversely affected the bridge’s completion schedule,” it said.

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Officials say the delay is “regrettable” because the county says it accelerated all contracts for May 22 reopening.

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

During previous projects that required the full closure, motorists were forced to take inland routes to reach Avalon or Sea Isle City.

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

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