def # 217 11/30/11
COUNTY READIES BOWMAN ROAD BRIDGE REPLACEMENT
TOMS RIVER - Work to replace the Bowman Road Bridge in Jackson Township, severely damaged by Hurricane Irene, could
begin on Jan. 1.
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders is scheduled to award a contract for the project to Lucas Construction Group
Inc., Morganville, in the amount of $1,524,192. The Board is expected to authorize the contract during its Dec. 7 meeting.
"We originally anticipated replacing this span late in 2012," said Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and
Public Safety, during a preboard meeting. "But the severity of Hurricane Irene and its impact on this structure resulted
in us expediting the replacement of the bridge.
"We expect the bridge replacement to be complete with the span reopened to traffic by September 2012 in time for the new
school year," Kelly said.
The contract calls for the work to be completed in nine months. The bridge is surrounded by environmentally
sensitive lands controlled by the State, limiting work space and making it necessary to close Bowman Road. Additionally,
because of certain fish spawning and fish maintenance requirements regulated by the state Department of Environmental
Protection and Fish and Wildlife, work in the stream is restricted from March 15 through July 1.
"The contractor cannot work in the water during that time so it was important to start the work as soon as
possible," said Freeholder James F. Lacey, liaison to the county’s road and bridge network. "We believe the contractor
will have enough time to install the permanent coffer dams in the water prior to March 15 which will allow us to meet the
state’s requirements and continue work on the span out of the water."
The bridge was closed to traffic after Hurricane Irene hit the area in late August and detours have been posted
Ocean County officials decided against the original plan to erect a temporary bridge in the area noting it would
not provide any real relief to motorists in the area because of the amount of time it would have taken to erect it.
"The road closure allows us to accelerate the construction of the project," said Kelly, who serves as liaison to the
county Engineering Department.
During Hurricane Irene a sinkhole began to appear at the northwest corner of the span and while the hole was
filled, the bridge was closed to traffic later on Sept. 1 after a bridge inspector observed that settlement had occurred
along the east abutment wall and it appeared that the pile cap had rolled. Further investigation of the span revealed that
the storm had pushed so much water through the bridge that it scoured the streambed by about eight feet exposing the
abutment sheeting, which was 16-feet long.
The Bowman Road Bridge is a three span timber pile supported bridge originally constructed in 1939 and upgraded
in 1971. The replacement will be a concrete structure.
"Several Ocean County spans and roadways were hard hit by Hurricane Irene, but county road and bridge staff
working with the engineering department quickly repaired most of the damaged infrastructure," said Freeholder Director
Joseph H. Vicari. "The Bowman Road Bridge was the only one we couldn’t fix but the action we are taking today will help
expedite the replacement of the bridge."