Route 9 bridge over Westecunk Creek to be replaced
in Eagleswood Township
(Trenton) - NJDOT officials announced preliminary construction activities including site mobilization and sign installation are scheduled to begin this week on the Route 9 bridge over the Westecunk Creek in Eagleswood Township, Ocean County.
Work to relocate utilities is expected to start in the next few weeks, followed by the removal of the existing sidewalk on the southbound side of Route 9.
The Department’s $2.9 million federally-funded project will fully replace the existing, structurally deficient bridge and resurface the bridge approaches. The new structure will be raised approximately 22 inches to meet current federal standards and help mitigate the flooding issues that trouble Route 9 at this location.
NJDOT’s contractor, Ritacco Construction Inc., will replace the bridge in stages so that one travel lane on Route 9 will remain open to traffic in both directions during peak hours. During the first stage of construction the northbound side of the bridge will be replaced with traffic shifted onto the southbound side utilizing the outside shoulder. Traffic then will be shifted onto the newly constructed northbound side of the structure while the southbound side of the bridge is reconstructed. Periodic single-lane closures with alternating traffic patterns will be necessary overnight.
NJDOT is incorporating the use of a precast concrete frame structure which shortens construction duration as compared to typical cast-in-place concrete construction. The new bridge will feature one 12-foot wide travel lane and a 10-foot wide shoulder in each direction. New sidewalks will be provided on both sides of the bridge.
The existing bridge was built in 1925 and carries approximately 13,000 vehicles every day over the Westecunk Creek, but that number rises in the summer season.
This project was designed and will be constructed in coordination with local businesses and residents. The Department held multiple Public Information Centers to take comments on the proposed improvements during design. Dynamic Message Signs will notify motorists of any upcoming traffic pattern changes. NJDOT anticipates the project being completed in spring 2013.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website real-time travel information.