A bridge in Cape May County that links two shore towns has been closed due to an immediate need for repairs and there's no estimate of when it will reopen.

The Townsends Inlet Bridge, which links Sea Isle City and Avalon, was closed to all traffic Monday afternoon after an underwater investigation revealed some significant problems.

In a press release Monday evening, Cape May County Engineer Dale Foster said,

Until further notice, the Townsends Inlet Bridge between Avalon and Sea Isle City is closed to traffic due to the findings of an underwater inspection performed this morning. The dive team from Churchill Consulting Engineers, Berlin, NJ, discovered a crack and movement in one pile, that are very recent in nature, and severe deterioration in another pile of a three-pile cluster supporting one of the piers on the Avalon side of the bridge. This places the pier in an unstable condition to support loads.

The county says the Townsends Inlet Bridge will remain closed for an indefinite period of time while repairs are made. Motorists will need to use the Garden State Parkway to get from one town to the other.

The bridge, which was closed for several months back in 2015 for a long-term construction project, is frequently battered by coastal storms as its eastern side directly faces the ocean.

Residents and visitors to the barrier islands in Cape May County are no strangers to bridge problems. Just this past October, the 96th Street Bridge in Stone Harbor was closed after an inspector found a large crack on a main span girder.


SOURCE: Cape May County press release (government), 4/3/17

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