Oceanic Bridge Closed: Slope Failure on Banks of Navesink to Blame
The bridge between Middletown and Rumson will remain closed until a fix is in place.
The Oceanic Bridge closed Thursday morning and will remain closed until a fix is in place for what was deemed a "slope failure" on the Middletown side, said Monmouth County Principal Engineer Aiman Eltohamy.
"Nothing is wrong with the bridge itself," the engineer said. "The embankment (or slope) of land on the side next to the road (near Navesink River Road) just let go. It's a very high embankment, and its face let go and fell into the roadway, leaving dirt and brush all over.
"It was cleaned up this morning by county personnel and a temporary fix was put in place, but due to the potential of more failure, we just had to close the road (and entry to bridge on both Rumson and Middletown sides)," Eltohamy said.
Hurricane Sandy's effects weakened the base of the steep embankments by the Navesink River, Eltohamy added, and with last night's rain, "apparently it just couldn't hold itself any longer and let go."
The situation, he said, is being evaluated thoroughly and once a fix is deemed fail-proof, the bridge and road stretches leading to it will be reopened as soon as possible.
Rumson police issued an advisory message through the borough's alert system at 11:51 a.m. which said only, "THE OCEANIC BRIDGE WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE."
Cement barriers block the bridge's entrances on the Rumson and Middletown sides with signage and cones.
The weather conditions were blustery at the bridge earlier this afternoon.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates, which will be added as information becomes available.