June 01, 2019
The Townsends Inlet Bridge, closed since September for a third straight year of construction-related projects, could reopen by the end of July.
Cape May County announced Friday that July 30 is the bridge's new target date for reopening, according to Sea Isle News, substantially later than its initial too-optimistic target date, May 22.
The project this summer was originally designed to be a substructure repair project, but inspections revealed deterioration that required replacing seven of the bridge's spans.
This drone video, from an engineering firm working on the bridge's repair, provides a visual update on the construction as of mid-May:
The often-used connecting bridge between Avalon and Sea Isle City is 79 years old, and has spent the last three years in and out of service during peak Jersey Shore travel season. In 2017, divers found a crack in one of the bridge's supports, closing the bridge for two months. In 2018, the bridge was closed for three weeks while crews replaced railings and made structural repairs.
Cape May County cited favorable weather as a large part of why construction has "progressed better than projected" according to Sea Isle News:
“As a result of this progress, we anticipate being able to open the bridge earlier than late summer as initially projected. Currently, we project a probable opening date to be on or about July 30. While we have a reasonable level of confidence supporting this earlier date, there remain a number of critical construction activities to be completed in the next three weeks that could have an impact on the final completion date.”
Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio told Sea Isle News he is "not going to get too excited until we get down the stretch and see if July 30 is for real."