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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Atlantic County Awards Contract for Catawba Bridge Replacement

Atlantic County has approved a $2.6 million contract for the replacement of another aging bridge. Work will begin in September on EH-17, the 100-year old Catawba Bridge over Miry Run on Rt. 559 in Egg Harbor Township.

The Catawba Bridge is a single-span, concrete encased steel stringer structure with one 12-foot lane and one 4-foot shoulder in each direction.

Construction will include raising the approach roadway above the estimated 100-year flood elevation. The new bridge will be raised to 5-feet from the high water elevation to remain in compliance with federal regulations that govern Miry Run within the Great Egg Harbor River Wild and Scenic River System and to increase the vertical clearance for recreational watercraft.

Preliminary work has been ongoing leading up to the fall construction start, according to county officials, including utility relocations which are performed sequentially, not concurrently. Utility work was delayed, however, as the utility companies dealt with outages and damages due to several severe late spring and early summer storms.

County officials waited until work on nearby EH-21 over English Creek, another century-old bridge, was completed before starting construction on the Catawba Bridge.

“We did not want to further inconvenience motorists with a second detour in the same vicinity,” explained County Executive Dennis Levinson. “That is something that is taken into consideration when determining construction schedules. No detour, although necessary, is ever palatable,” he added.

Once construction begins a full detour will be implemented through May 2016 when the new bridge is expected to be completed. In the meantime there is a 10-ton weight limit in effect on the existing bridge.

Atlantic County is also hard at work to replace the 95-year old Cedar Bridge over Patcong Creek between Northfield and Egg Harbor Township as part of its Fire and Mill roads intersection improvement project.

The county has completed rehabilitation and reconstruction of several other aging bridges including the 80+ -year old Dorset Avenue Bridge in Ventnor, the 73-year old Sugar Hill Bridge in Hamilton Township, and the 75-year old Maple Run Bridge in Northfield.

“Like everything else, our bridges also age and bear the consequences of wear and tear,” said Levinson. “Atlantic County is dedicated to protecting the safety of our citizens and our motorists with proper maintenance and necessary improvements to our more than 375 miles of roadways and 215 bridges.”

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