Middle Valley Bridge Project Far From Done
Engineer says at least another month—if weather is perfect.
If weather conditions are perfect, the Middle Valley Road Bridge could be complete in a month, according to an engineering consultant working on the project.
But perfect conditions have been hard to come by since the project began in September, as Hurricane Sandy and several snowfalls of measurable accumulation hit Washington Township in the fall and winter.
Paul Weber of Cherry & Weber Engineering said one major aspect of the bridge's construction remains, which is the pouring of cement that will overlay the steel structure.
"With these cold temperatures it's been hard to pour and work with concrete," Weber said. "That part of the project will take about two weeks to dry and finish. Then we'll overlay it with pavement."
In a May 2012 presentation to the Washington Township Committee, engineers projected the work would take approximately six months, with worst case scenario lasting eight months.
Just before the road was closed in September, Morris County engineer Brian Caruso said, depending on the truss manufacturer's time table, the road may be passable before inclement weather strikes the region during winter months.
Of course, Caruso couldn't forecast a hurricane and several snowfalls before the end of 2012, and that timetable was obviously not reached.
The project, which has been years in the making, has removed the old bridge structure–which was supposed to be temporary to begin with–and replacing it with a two-lane roadway.
Motorists who use the road have had to detour, and depending on which direction a driver is headed, has had to loop up to 10.8 miles around the construction.
The project was originally scheduled to begin in April of 2012, then in July, but didn't kick off until September.
"Building bridges in the winter certainly isn't ideal," Weber said. "It slows down the entire process."
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