Because of its low clearance, Arnone said the NJ TRANSIT bridge “routinely gets hit by trucks traveling along County Route 52” and is in “substandard condition.” After working out details and talking to nearby community members through the earlier phases of the project, the county finds itself in the final design phase of the project. The plan is to be ready for construction by the end of the year, said Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone, who called the funding “much-needed” and “necessary” in a press release. “We are very excited about the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge replacement project,” said Rumson Mayor Joseph Hemphill. “Over many years, we have completed numerous projects with the county and have built a tremendous relationship with them. They always produced extremely quality products, and we look forward to the construction of a beautiful bridge. Its time has finally come.” Approved May 11 by the North Jersey TransportationPlanning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees, the countyalso received $800,000 for an additional project in Holmdelto study Laurel Avenue. Dozens of vehicles have crashedinto the NJ TRANSIT rail line bridge over the road in thepast decade. The transition from the existing bridge to the new one will be done in the off-season to not interrupt the heavy summer traffic when anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 vehicles pass over the bridge each day. The new bridge will have one lane of traffic in each direction and will include wider sidewalks and shoulders. RUMSON-SEA BRIGHT BRIDGE Rumson and Sea Bright borough officials provided resolutions of support for the idea, as did the county freeholders. They also proposed some improvements to the Rumson Road and Ocean Avenue intersection near the bridge to “better accommodate” pedestrians and bicyclists, according to the county. FILE PHOTO The Rumson-Sea Bright bridge will soon be replaced with a new, moveable bridge, with federal funding approved May 11. LAUREL AVENUE RUMSON – Monmouth County was recently awarded $31 million in federal funding for the long-sought replacement of the Rumson-Sea Bright bridge spanning the Shrewsbury River. Plans for the bridge’s replacement arose after a 2013 study. Officials established multiple “practical conceptual alternatives” to the existing span. With help from the NJT-PA, state department of transportation, Federal Highway Administration, community members, local officials and permitting agencies, they developed a preliminary preferred alternative to replace the bridge with a new structure south of where it stands today, according to the county. With the additional $31 million in funding granted for the bridge’s replacement, the county has now received a total of $104 million over the years for the project. The existing bridge was originally built in 1950. It carries Rumson Road across the river to Sea Bright and serves as one of two evacuation and emergency routes during tidal flooding and coastal storms. But now, according to the county, it is aging and at the end of its service life. The article originally appeared in the May 21 – 27, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. According to the county, Laurel Avenue, or County Route 52, is a major connection road between the Garden State Parkway and Route 35, serving residents of Holmdel and Middletown townships. There is “significant commercial activity” along the avenue, the county said. By Allison Perrine The problem area, however, is a point at the intersection of South Laurel Avenue and the NJ TRANSIT North Jersey Coast Line between Commons Way and Continental Boulevard, according to the county. There are also vertical clearance problems with the bridge, which is 12 feet, 5 inches above Laurel Avenue. The goal of the study is to identify and assess alternatives for the existing condition. “The purpose of this study is to develop and assess various alternatives for this grade separated railroad crossing and we will be working closely with NJ Transit and NJDOT for potential improvements,” said Arnone.