TOMS RIVER, NJ (AP) Ocean County officials awarded a $21.4 million construction contract Wednesday to a South Plainfield company to build a new Mantoloking Bridge, authorities said.
J.H. Reid will begin work on the span in December, Ocean County freeholders said in a statement. The bridge, linking Mantoloking Borough and Brick Township, is expected to be completed by the fall of 2005, officials said.
The new bridge will replace the current 65-year-old span, which operates with a 4-ton (3.6 t) weight restriction due to structural problems. That span will be destroyed once the new one is built, officials said, but 150 ft. (45.7 m) of it will be converted into a public fishing pier.
The construction contract, which officials said was the largest ever awarded by the county, will be paid with federal funds.
The new bridge will include a drawbridge that will increase clearance over the boating channel from 15 to 30 ft. (4.6 to 9.1 m). The increased clearance will allow more than 75 percent of vessels to pass without raising the drawbridge, a county official said.