Why is this bridge study necessary?         

Built in 1939, the Oceanic Bridge is 78 years old and has structural and functional limitations that do not meet today's design standards.  Due to its age, the bridge has deteriorated over time and routine maintenance can no longer address the deficiencies.

Age, deterioration, and increased traffic volume and loads (weight of vehicles) are some of the reasons why this bridge no longer meets public safety and design standards and is in need of major rehabilitation or replacement.

Age and Physical Condition:  The bridge was built in 1939 and is beyond its originally anticipated service life at 78 years old.  The bridge has been determined to be in critical condition and is classified as structurally deficient due to its low inventory ratings (load carrying capacity). The bridge is inspected on a regular basis, and is safe to travel on today at the posted weight limit of 15 tons, however, without significant on-going maintenance and rehabilitation work, the bridge could require more restrictive load posting (further restrictions on the type and weight of vehicles allowed to use the bridge) due to the advancing deterioration of the super and substructures in this severe marine environment.

Load Capacity:  The bridge requires a routine inspection every two years with an interim inspection every twelve months due to the low inventory rating and the condition of the superstructure. The structure is currently load posted for 15 tons. A detour for vehicles over that limit has been established and any vehicles exceeding 15 tons in gross vehicle weight must use the signed detour. Further deterioration of the structure may require a lower load posting.

Bridge & Approach Roadway Condition:  The bridge and approach roadway width lacks shoulders and the approach alignment is substandard on the north side.  The bridge railings are substandard and do not meet current crash standards.

What is a Local Concept Development (LCD) Study?      

The LCD Study is the first phase of the Local Capital Project Delivery Process for federal funded transportation improvement projects.  During this phase, a Purpose and Need Statement will be developed focusing on the need to address structural and operational deficiencies of the bridge. The LCD Study phase also includes data collection, coordination with local municipal officials, community stakeholders, and Federal and State permitting agencies; public outreach; the development of a reasonable number of sensible and practical conceptual alternatives; and the recommendation of a Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA).

What is the schedule for the Oceanic Bridge LCD Study phase?

LCD Project Delivery Schedule (Major Milestones):

Recommendation of a Preliminary Preferred Alternative.............................................Summer 2020
Submission of Draft Concept Development Report........................................................Winter 2020/2021
Completion of Local Concept Development Phase..........................................................Spring 2021

What kind of a bridge is the existing Oceanic Bridge?

The existing Oceanic Bridge is a 57 span structure with a movable double leaf bascule superstructure at the main channel span. Bridge specifications are as follows:

  • Bridge spans the Navesink River connecting the Borough of Rumson and the Township of Middletown
  • Year Built: 1939.
  • Bridge type: 57 spans; double leaf deck girder bascule main span, 16 steel deck girder approach spans, and 40 reinforced concrete tee beam approach spans.
  • Overall length: 2712 feet.
  • Bridge cartway width: 32 feet.
  • Navigational clearance over main channel in closed position:
    • Vertical: 22 feet at Mean High Water.
    • Horizontal: 75 feet.

What is the existing condition of the bridge?

The Study findings to date have revealed the following:

  • Bridge is structurally deficient (poor condition), functionally obsolete (substandard geometry), and nearing the end of its service life.
  • Sufficiency Rating = 23.0 (out of 100).
  • Superstructure is in serious condition: heavy rust throughout steel members; corrosion holes in girder webs; severe section loss to floor beam bottom flanges and connections; and large spalls with exposed rusted re-bars in concrete tee-beams.
  • Substructure is in poor condition: wide cracking; deep spalls; exposed and severely rusted reinforcing steel; deteriorating steel pile jackets; and exposed steel H-piles.
  • Deck: is in fair condition: spalls and incipient spalls with exposed corroded reinforcement to the underside; numerous large concrete and asphalt patches and medium-to-wide cracking to the top of deck.
  • Mechanical is in fair to poor condition: heavy corrosion; aged equipment; operational deficiencies; failing paint.
  • Electrical is in poor condition: obsolete and noncompliant components; severe corrosion; and failing paint.
  • Bridge is scour critical.
  • Bridge railings are substandard.

Does Monmouth County plan to widen the bridge?

The Study will help to determine if there is a need to widen the bridge, however existing traffic volume data does not appear to support the need for additional vehicl lanes. The need for wider shoulders and sidewalk will also be studied.

How will the project benefit pedestrians and bicyclists?

As part of the Study, the project team will seek input from the local officials, community stakeholders and the general public to understand the pedestrian and bicycle mobility and access needs.  Development of the project Purpose and Need Statement will consider the received input.  The project will consider all modes of transportation including: pedestrians, cyclists, transit, vehicular, and marine uses.

Have the project's improvements been decided?

No, the reason for the LCD Study phase is to identify the current transportation issues and needs regarding the Oceanic Bridge, to develop the Project Purpose and Need statement, conceptual alternatives, and to recommend a Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA) for bridge improvements.  A Resolution of Support of the recommended PPA from the local officials is required.  Coordination with the regulatory agencies is initiated at the LCD Study phase and continues as the project advances through the preliminary engineering, final design and construction phases.  Coordination with the community will also continue through all phases with local officials’ briefings, community stakeholders meetings, and public information center meetings.

How much will it cost and who will pay for it?

The cost of implementing the Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA) will be estimated as part of the LCD Study phase, and will qualify to be funded with Federal dollars if it meets the Federal requirements.

How will the project affect the environment?

As part of the LCD Study phase, an environmental screening is performed.  The environmental screening identifies the issues, concerns, and potential “fatal flaws” related to the social, economic, and environmental resources that will aid in establishing impacts for the various alternatives being considered.  The screening includes a review of the potential impacts to air/noise receptors, ecological constraints, cultural resources, publicly owned parks and recreation areas, wildlife or waterfowl refuges, hazardous materials (known contaminated sites), socioeconomics, and environmental justice.

At this stage in the LCD Study phase, the environmental screening has been performed and reviewed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Bureau of Environmental Program Resources (BEPR).  Once conceptual alternatives are developed, each alternative will be evaluated for its potential impacts to the environment, which will be a consideration in the recommendation of the Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA).

Why get involved?

The primary objective of stakeholder coordination and engaging the public is to assist in the development of the project Purpose and Need Statement, provide input into the Goals and Objectives of the bridge improvement project, and review and provide comments regarding the recommendation of the Preliminary Preferred Alternative (PPA) based on the Project Purpose and Need and Goals and Objectives.

The project team is very interested in understanding how the local community uses the bridge, any current approach roadway concerns, and how the public perceives each of the conceptual alternative solutions.  Community Outreach is a vital part of the LCD Study phase and we encourage the community to participate.

Why attend the public meetings?

Attendance at public meetings is a good way to make your voice heard and partner in an important project that strives to meet the community’s needs and aspirations. If you are unable to attend a meeting, you can keep tabs on new project developments by visiting the Project Website and reviewing the meeting summary reports, and PowerPoint presentations.  Questions can be submitted through the project email or General Comment Form.

How can I stay informed or offer suggestions?

Monmouth County, and the cooperating agencies of NJTPA and NJDOT, are committed to developing transportation improvements that best balance transportation needs, the environment, community concerns and cost.  As part of the Community Outreach effort, numerous meetings will be held to share project information and obtain input.


What if I have other questions or concerns about the project?

Monmouth County, and the cooperating agencies of NJTPA and NJDOT, encourages community members to voice their concerns and contribute suggestions to the Project Team.  To provide input, attend one of the public meetings or contact:

Fred Passeggio, P.E.
Monmouth County Project Manager
Monmouth County Division of Engineering
& Traffic Safety
Hall of Records Annex, 3rd Floor

1 East Main Street
Freehold, NJ 07728
Tel: 732-431-7760
Fax: 732-431-7765
Email: MonmouthCountyOceanicBridge@gmail.com   

Joseph M. Ettore, P.E.
Monmouth County Engineer