If you use the Middle Thorofare Bridge on Ocean Drive between Wildwood Crest and Cape May - and you find yourself driving at night - you'll need to find a detour starting next week.

Officials in Cape May County say the bridge, which is undergoing a great deal of rehabilitation work, will close from 9AM to 5PM from Monday, December 14th, through Friday, December 18th, (inclusive) and again from Monday, December 21st, through Wednesday, December 23rd (inclusive).

While the bridge is closed, workers will begin removing the existing fender system along with the removal of large rocks around the base of the bridge's piers. The closure will allow crews to use equipment beneath the bridge, which requires the bridge to be in the up position.

For mariners, according to the county,

Also beginning December 14th are navigational restrictions limiting bridge openings for larger vessels. These navigational restrictions are a result of the contractor having to occupy the channel beneath the bascule span to perform his work. Mariners are urged to review the weekly Local Notice to Mariners issued by the U.S. Coast Guard which may be found at www.navcen.uscg.gov. Mariners may also contact the bridge at 609-522-2815 or marine VHF Channel 13.

The construction work that is being done now is part of 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.

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.

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SOURCE: Cape May County press release, 12/08/20

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