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The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will replace the Route 36 Highlands Bridge, which connects Sea Bright, Gateway National Recreational Area and Highlands in Monmouth County. NJDOT will replace the bridge, which is part of the emergency evacuation route from Sea Bright and Sandy Hook onto Route 36 in the Highlands, from spring 2008 to spring 2011.
The existing Route 36 Highlands Bridge over the Shrewsbury River links Sea Bright Borough and Sandy Hook on the Atlantic Ocean with Highlands Borough on the mainland.
The existing bridge, features 11-foot lanes and movable spans and lacks shoulders. It is functionally obsolete and structurally deficient. The bridge's deficiency creates extensive delays and congestion, particularly during the summer months, when the beach lots are filled in Sea Bright and on Sandy Hook, and the bridge opens twice an hour for maritime traffic on the Shrewsbury River.
NJDOT will demolish the bridge and replace it with a 65-foot high fixed span structure with 12-foot lanes and 8-foot shoulders. NJDOT will construct the bridge in a manner that maintains existing traffic flow and minimizes seasonal impacts and diversion of traffic to local streets.
NJDOT has held discussions with local officials and residents regarding the bridge replacement project since 2001. NJDOT has incorporated many of the communities' recommended improvements into the project.