Lake Street Bridge Repair Nears Completion
Detours and traffic around the Lake Avenue Bridge may soon fade to a distant memory, as county officials report the project will be completed by the end of August. Workers are currently in the final phase of the project, Borough Administrator Adeline Hanna reported at last week's Borough Council Meeting.
“The county called to ask if it was alright with the borough if they use the same stone color they have used for the other bridges they have repaired in the county and we said, go ahead,” she said. “It is in the final stages of getting everything done. They are hoping to have it done by the end of August.”
Borough officials were somewhat skeptical the the project would be completed on time, as the county has continuously extended the timeline for completion.
“I’m not sure we can hold them to that, as last year they said the project would be done before Christmas,” Hanna said. “This has gone beyond the usual time frame.”
“The Empire State Building took less time build,” joked Borough Attorney Robert Regan. The New York City Landmark took one year and 45 days to complete.
Former Mayor Ester Verheilig suggested the project delay was due to a change of ownership of the engineering firm, which stalled all projects during the transition. County officials, however, claim Hurricane Sandy is responsible for the delay, and told the Suburban News the original plan was to be completed in one year, but due to weather delays, it will be completed in mid-September. The project began last August and is estimated to cost $1.37 million.
The bridge, which serves as a short cut from Midland Park to Ridgewood, was originally built in 1897 by the F.R. Long Company and was widened in 1931 to allow for sidewalks. Its original decorative railing was removed and concrete parapets were constructed.
The Lake Avenue Bridge is listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. It was the only known highway bridge in the state to use both steel arch and brick jack arch construction.
According to Masonry & Metal: Historic Bridges of New Jersey, by Richard Grubb, the brick jack arches spanned the area between six arched I-beams, which functioned as ribs between the jack arches. The bridge was widened in 1931 to add sidewalks and its original decorative railing was removed and concrete parapets were constructed.
Police noted an 20% increase in traffic accidents on Goffle Road during the duration of the repairs, including an June 12 accident where a woman on a scooter was struck by a car as trying to cross the roadway.