County of Monmouth


August 14, 2014 


Glimmer Glass bridge to remain closed for repair

Extensive damage requires significant repair

MANASQUAN, NJ – Monmouth County will be moving forward with major repair work to the 279-foot Glimmer Glass Bridge (W-9) on Fisk Avenue between Brielle and Manasquan that was closed on August 7 due to immediate safety concerns.

“Last week, significant damage to the bridge deck forced the immediate closure of the Glimmer Glass Bridge,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. “The extent of the damage and the repair work required means that the bridge closure will continue.”

Based on a thorough bridge inspection and structural evaluation which completed on August 11, it was determined that the needed repairs will require significantly more time than originally anticipated. It appears that a large truck weighing well in excess of the bridge’s three ton weight limit fractured the timber deck at three locations.

“The nature of the damage combined with the age of the bridge eliminates the option of a quick fix,” said Arnone.

The County will be moving forward with work to secure the permits, order the supplies and begin work on the bridge that was built in 1938. For repair work to advance, several permits must be granted, including permits from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and the State Historic Preservation Office.

“It is anticipated that the bridge will be closed for up to ten months to secure the necessary permits and complete the repair work,” Monmouth County Engineer Joseph Ettore said following a meeting with Manasquan Borough officials yesterday. “The repair work will include replacing the timber deck and reinforcing the existing pile foundation.”

Compounding the extended closure are the full and new moon tides and storm events that create regular tidal flooding along Brielle Road between the Glimmer Glass Bridge and Fourth Avenue.  

The County is evaluating options for other associated road improvements to help minimize tidal and storm flooding in the area.
“We are working with County and Manasquan Office of Emergency Management personnel to develop protocols and an action plan for area residents,” said Arnone. “We appreciate the support and cooperation of the community as we work through the many related issues.”

“We have a great team in place to tackle this challenge,” said Manasquan Mayor George Dempsey. “The town council, public works, emergency management, police, fire, and first aid are working with the County on interim and long term remedies.”

County crews responded to reports of a depression on the bridge deck last Thursday. Immediate inspection of the deck required the closure of the bridge to vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

Subsequent inspections revealed additional areas of concern, which led County bridge and engineering officials to decide to keep the bridge closed for the safety of all residents and visitors to the area.

“Closing the Glimmer Glass Bridge is necessary to keep all travelers safe, but we know it will have a devastating effect on the people who live in the area and visit Manasquan,” said Arnone. “We will work to safely reopen this vital connector and begin to move toward a long term solution for the bridge and roads.”

“We know the residents of Manasquan depend on the Glimmer Glass Bridge in times of high tide, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” said Arnone.

The County and the Borough are working together to address public safety issues created by the duration of the closure.

The bridge closure will not affect marine traffic. All other traffic should use the signed detours and expect travel delays in the area.  

All motor vehicle traffic on Brielle Road, between Greene Avenue and Fourth Avenue, will be detoured.

Specifically, westbound motor vehicle traffic on Brielle Road in Manasquan will be directed north on Fourth Avenue to Main Street and then onto State Highway 71 South to Fisk Avenue in Brielle. Conversely, eastbound traffic in Brielle should follow Fisk Avenue to State Highway 71 North to Main Street in Manasquan.

The original bridge crossing the Glimmer Glass was built in 1898 as a fixed span bridge. On August 13, 1939, the current cable-lift bascule span bridge opened and began accommodating both marine and vehicle traffic.  The bridge was refurbished in the 1950s and 1970s when the original components were replaced.  

The Glimmer Glass Bridge is unique because it uses a rolling counterweight design to open. The bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 25, 2008.

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