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Midland Park

Lake Avenue Bridge Reopens

10/03/2013 08:11AM ● By Rebecca K. Abma
After more than a year of detours, the Lake Avenue bridge, a popular cut through between Midland Park and Ridgewood, reopened to traffic this week. The $1.37 million project  replaced a 100-plus-year-old bridge that had been deemed structurally deficient.

Detour signs were still posted as of Oct. 3 and construction equipment is still in the area, but the bridge is open to traffic in both directions. Prior to construction, more than 11,000 vehicles reportedly crossed the bridge daily. The new bridge will be able to accommodate 25-ton three axle box trucks, increased from 17 tons, and 40-ton five axle trucks, increased from 35 tons. 

The bridge replacement project began in August of 2012, and faced repeated delays. Initially, the work was expected to take six months to complete, however, Hurricane Sandy kicked of a string of delays. In July, the county engineer said it would be completed by the end of August, which was later changed to end of September, then Oct. 1. 

Originally built by the F.R. Long Company in 1897, the bridge was listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places as 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.

The extended time frame of the bridge repair resulted in increased traffic and accidents in the area as well as difficulties for businesses. 

 

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