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Middle Valley Bridge Work to Last Six Months

Roadway will be closed, detoured while entire bridge is replaced.

A major bridge reconstruction project will force a detour around the eastern end of Middle Valley Road until November of this year, according to Morris County Engineer Roslyn Khurdan.

The bridge at the end of the county road is being completely replaced, Khurdan said, and approximately 100 feet of pavement on both sides of the bridge will be milled and paved as well.

The federally funded project comes at a cost of $1.7 million, Khurdan said. The contractor on the project is Konkus Corporation of Somerset County..

A member from the company was at the site on Saturday, March 31 clearing trees in preparation of the project, Khurdan said.

The bridge, which was installed more than 15 years ago, was a temporary structure, Khurdan said. The life expectancy of a temporary structure is between eight and 10 years, Khurdan said.

Once the submitted contractor’s agreement clears approval, Khurdan said, the work is expected to begin the third week of April or first week of May. A detour plan has been submitted to and approved by the Washington Township Police, and will be in effect throughout the duration of the project.

RGJ April 11, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Trish, what I meant was in an emergency oil and gas companies often have smaller rigs they send to tight areas, These possibly could come in Columbia Trail, along with whatever can't maneuver WP. After all, wasn't ot once a railroad bed? Must have some underpinning. That said, six months sounds upsurd. Bid it out at 5 weeks and see what you get back.
Trish Dochtermann April 11, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Your suggestions are excellent, and I wonder why that hadn't been considered. I can understand that the bridge needs to be repaired or replaced, but when the bridge in the center of town had to be fixed, Schooley's Mtn. Rd. certainly wasn't closed for months. Was a traffic study done to see how many vehicles go over that bridge on a daily basis? As for making the bridge 2 lanes, as Adam Duckworth said, why put a 2 lane bridge on a 1 lane road? Doesn't really make much sense, and the road can't be widen there because of the older houses that sit right on the road on the western side, and the marsh on the right side. If this bridge is closed for 6 months, it is going to be a major incovenience for folks who live on that side of the township, and a financial hardship & possible safety hazard for the residents who live closest to the bridge. We don't have another way of getting to the center of town, or going west to Califon without going 7 or 8 miles out of the way. The idea of an adjacent structure is an excellent one, if the bridge absolutely has to be closed. Actually, I haven't noticed any problems with the bridge and I go over it at least 2 times a day.
Tracy Tobin April 11, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Trish LVFAS Chief responded to the question about getting personnel and equipment past woodpecker point for a squad call with the Middle Valley bridge closed. He said they can do it, just have to go slow and careful around the turn. Response will be from Station #2 (top of the mountain corner of Flocktown & Rock Roads).
Trish Dochtermann April 11, 2012 at 11:10 PM
RGJ thanks for your solutions to the oil & gas companies getting access, although I don't really know whether Columbia Trail would support the weight. The width of the trail is much narrower then when the railroad was in use, (I moved here when the trains still ran). Also, Tracy Tobin said that the LVFAS chief says an ambulance can make it around Woodpecker Point, now just have to wait until the fire company responds. I have no doubt that our excellent volunteer fire company would do their best to get to a fire, that goes without saying. My concern is that they wouldn't be able to get the trucks here, or have enough hose to reach the houses that are at least 1,000 feet from the south bank of the river. 6 months repair/replacement time is absurd, since the U.S. army corps of engineers put these bridges up in 48 hours. The average house only takes 3-4 months to build.
Eileen Stokes May 12, 2012 at 04:57 AM
Tracy, I finally got photos of the former Middle Valley bridge posted. Truss bridges were an important engineering advance of the 19th-century and were a common landscape feature. A September 20, 1889, issue of the Hackettstown Gazette states the ironwork for the bridge was furnished by the Riverside Bridge Company for a bid of $2,350 and the stone work for the abutments was done by J.B. Young at $5.97 a yard.

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