County expects bridges to be open by Friday
OCEAN COUNTY Road and Engineering Department crews are continuing to work to reopen bridges, culverts and roads throughout the county damaged by Hurricane Irene.
“We anticipate that all of our roads and bridges affected by rising waters will be open to traffic by Friday,” said Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. “This has been a yeoman’s job and our appreciation goes to the county employees who have worked tirelessly to get the work done.”
Today (Aug. 31) the county reopened Vince’s Bridge, Oak Ridge Parkway, Toms River Township, the entire length of Bowman Road, Jackson Township, and Bartley Road in Jackson Township was expected to be reopened along with Don Connor Boulevard, and Cooks Bridge Road, also in Jackson Township. Bayview Avenue, Seaside Park, was reopened to traffic following the receding of floodwaters.
“We have seen most of the storm waters recede to the point we can determine the damage and undertake the repairs,” said Freeholder James F. Lacey, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Road Department.
Portions of Route 571 in Toms River, Manchester and Jackson townships were heavily damaged by floodwaters and the roadway remains closed as county crews work to repair the damage.
Floodwaters were so high it got around the wing walls of several bridges along Route 571 and washed out the area under the bridge approaches. County crews are digging out portions of the roadway and refilling underneath in order to sure up the approaches. Paving will take place once that work is completed.
Route 571 near the North Branch of the Toms River at the border of Toms River and Manchester, remains closed, along with the area west of Whitesville Road. Other sections of Route 571 are closed in Jackson Township near the Rova Farms Bridge and again further north at the Francis Mills Bridge.
The following Ocean County bridges remain closed: Butterfly Bridge at Butterfly Road, Jackson Township; Coventry Road Bridge, Jackson Township; New Francis Mills Bridge, Route 571, Jackson Township; Rova Farms Bridge, Route 571, Jackson Township; Brindletown Road Bridge, New Egypt/Plumsted Township; and Whitesville Road Bridge, Route 571, Toms River Township.
Culverts currently closed are: Larsen Road Culvert, Jackson Township; Hulse’s Road Culvert, Farmingdale Road, Jackson Township; Ice Factory Culvert, Ice Factory Road, New Egypt/Plumsted Township; Cranberry Canners Road Culvert New Egypt/Plumsted.
Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety, urged caution and patience while getting around some areas of Ocean County.
“These roads have been closed to keep our motorists safe, until repairs can be made,” Kelly said. “Motorists and visitors should follow the prescribed detours. We are working expeditiously to complete repairs and return these roads to service.”