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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.

, 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."

Has the Middle Valley Bridge replacement project impacted you negatively? Tell us in the comments!

Not Domino January 03, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Who could have predicted that there would be cold temperatures in December? Gosh, the weather sure is crazy lately.
Reality Chuck January 04, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Couldn't forecast a hurricane in hurricane season? I'll give them 12 extra days to account for the power loss....that's it.
Bill Leavens January 04, 2013 at 01:02 PM
The bridge done in a month??!! Yeah. But they didn't say which month, did they.
jess January 04, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Love all these comments and they are all so true. It impacts me because I have to go another way to get to work, so its costing me time and MONEY! Please guys, get it done!
ValleyGirl January 04, 2013 at 02:40 PM
The biggest problem I see with this bridge project is understaffing. There have been only two people tightening bolts for over three weeks. I have contacted the county myself and inquired why the project was so poorly staffed... I was told that they have requested from the contractor to increase the number of people working on the project. That has yet to happen. I suggest anyone who has been inconvenienced by this bridge, contact the county, township officials, or anyone else who could help to expedite this project. Remember people strength in numbers!!!
Not Domino January 04, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Hey ValleyGirl, You are welcome to borrow my wrench! Call the county again and let them know that you are going to go out there and start tightening the bolts yourself, and see what they say! :-)
Trish Dochtermann January 04, 2013 at 04:54 PM
I figure at this point, the bridge being out has cost me over 50 hours of extra commuting time-a week's worth of overtime, and approximately $200 in additional gas money. I think that if the Historical Society hadn't made such a fuss over the stone facade, that only the ducks or canoers will see, and added an additional 2-3 weeks to the project, the construction would be further along. Has the Historical Society had to detour 10.8 miles every time they leave the house, or slid down Woodpecker Point when the roads have been icy? Let the bridge get finished, before we have to continue to slide down the mountain every time we have icy roads. I thought the timing of the construction was a bad idea from the start, but I guess the people who made the decision don't have to deal with the inconvience, so it didn't matter to them.
Thomas Lotito January 05, 2013 at 06:23 PM
If this bridge was built by a private firm it would have been finished already. It should have been built in the spring so the contractor couldn't make excuses for delays. Cement can be poured in almost any weather condition.There is NO guesswork in CONCRETE today because it's scientifically formulated and various compounds can be added for little cost to over come cold weather conditions. It should have been completed in less than 90 days.The bridge on Schooleys Mountain only took 60 days to complete.
Tracey Hos February 25, 2013 at 09:29 PM
It has been 2 months now since this story has been posted, any updates on the opening of the bridge?
Thomas Lotito February 25, 2013 at 10:44 PM
No, you drive by and it's dead silence, the contractors are wintering in Florida.
Bill Leavens February 25, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Yes. It is widely rumored that the bridge will be open to the public inJuly. 2015.
Moses Lonn February 25, 2013 at 11:12 PM
The bridge IS being built by a private contractor. An incompetent one. But the rules say that the low bidder gets the job. All in all, it never should have been done this way, but there was gubamint money available to do it and with that gubamint money comes rule, regs and specifications. Perhaps you would prefer a private company to build a privately owned bridge there and collect tolls? That's the way many of Florida's highways work and if you're a tourist from out of state, it sucks.
Trish Dochtermann February 27, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Bill, I hope you were being sarcastic & humorous with your comment. If it isn't done until July 2015, there may be many former homeowners housed at Greystone. This is getting very trying on my nerves & my gas bill. Hurry up & get it done guys, I'm tired of having to drive an extra 40 minutes every day to get to & from home to anywhere.
Bill Leavens February 27, 2013 at 03:44 AM
Yep, Trish. Typical cynicism. But this construction company is very, very lame. And it has been an ugly experience for all of us.


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