NJDOT officials Friday announced a project that will replace the Route 50 drawbridge over the Tuckahoe River, which connects Upper Township in Cape May County with Corbin City in Atlantic County, and reconstruct and widen the highway in the vicinity of the bridge.
The $11.7 million federally-funded project will demolish and replace the existing, structurally-deficient bascule lift drawbridge with a new low-level, fixed-span structure in the same location. The roadway approaches will be reconstructed on either side of the bridge between the vicinity of New Jersey Avenue in Upper (milepost 6.12) and Main Street in Corbin City (mp 7.25). Safety and operational improvements will be made at the Route 50 intersections with Route 49, Tuckahoe-Mt. Pleasant Road and Marshall Avenue including the addition of new dedicated turn lanes. New sidewalks and curb will be installed along Route 50 and the existing drainage system will be upgraded. In addition, a reconfiguration of the nearby Route 49 intersection with Weatherby Road in Upper Township has been included into the contract, due to the close proximity and relatively minor scope of that work.
NJDOT’s contractor, South State, Inc., is scheduled to begin preliminary construction activities next week, including sign installation and utility relocation. Initial construction activity will commence at the Route 49/Weatherby intersection location, where the existing intersection will be reconfigured to a more conventional ‘T-intersection’ and a new grass median will be installed.
Once the work at the Weatherby Road intersection is completed later this fall, the contractor will shift the construction focus to the Tuckahoe River bridge. Route 50 carries one travel lane in each direction - northbound and southbound - over the bridge with 4-foot wide shoulders. The bridge replacement work with be accomplished in stages, with both travel lanes being maintained at all times. Approximately 10,000 vehicles use this bridge every day to cross the Tuckahoe River.
The existing drawbridge, which was built in 1926 and reconstructed in the 1960’s, is located within an environmentally protected wetlands area. As the project is also located within a recognized historic district, the Department’s designer has included context sensitive aesthetic treatments and lighting. During the design phases of the project, permits were secured from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, NJDEP and the Pinelands Commission.
NJDOT has coordinated with local officials from both towns and counties throughout the design process. The project is expected to be complete in the spring of 2016.
Variable message signs will notify motorists of upcoming traffic pattern changes. The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website
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