Construction to Begin on Middle Thorofare Bridge in Cape May County
If you use Ocean Drive to travel between the Wildwoods and Cape May, you may want to give yourself a little extra time soon as construction on the 80-year-old Middle Thorofare Bridge is set to begin.
Officials in Cape May County say the Middle Thorofare Bridge (also known as Two Mile Bridge), is getting a long-awaited multi-million dollar make-over that will include new bridge railings, a new approach guard rail, a new fender system, and major structural steel repairs to the two bascule girders.
According to a press release,
Work will begin in the next week or two with Phase 1 of the bridge railing replacement. The bridge roadway will be reduced to a one-lane alternating traffic pattern through the use of temporary traffic signals and traveling motorists should add additional time to their daily commute. Tolls will be collected during the project.
Fender work is expected to get underway in December and continue throughout the winter months into spring 2021. With an average of 5500 bridge openings per year, the fender work is being closely coordinated with the US Coast Guard and the local fishing industry to minimize navigation impacts through the 50 ft. wide channel beneath the bascule span. The bridge’s operating schedule will be modified beginning December 1st continuing through February 28th and mariners should monitor U.S. Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners issued weekly.
Late night drivers should plan ahead as the bridge may periodically close overnights when heavier work needs to be done.
The project’s overall completion date is December, 2021, however no long-term lane closures are permitted from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The bridge, which opened in June, 1940, is set to be replaced in the near future, however, that is several years away from actually happening. The work that is being done now will ensure the current span can continue to operate until that time.