Monday, February 07, 2011

Corson’s Inlet Bridge Set to Reopen Friday

From the Cape may County Herald - by Al Campbell’s+inlet+bridge+set+reopen+friday

STRATHMERE — Corson’s Inlet Bridge, linking this Upper Township community and Ocean City via Ocean Drive, will tentatively reopen Fri., Feb. 11 after emergency repairs to replace a rusted railing through which a Sea Isle City teen brother and sister’s vehicle crashed Tue., Feb. 1. That left a gaping hole temporarily fixed by county crews.

On Mon., Feb. 7, the Cape May County Bridge Commission met in emergency session to award the repair contract.

According to commission Executive Director Stephen O’Connor, the commission solicited proposals from qualified contractors who “have a successful history of doing work for the county.”

The lower of two bidders was Allied Painting, Inc. of Cherry Hill. Its bid was $19,400, with a four-day completion.

The other bid was submitted by IEW Construction Group, Inc. of Trenton. Its bid was $24,875, with work to be done in 10 days.
“We expect the repairs to be made and the bridge reopened Friday,” O’Connor stated.

Chairman William Henfey convened the emergency meeting after a required “Sunshine” notice had been sent on Thur., Feb. 3 to the Herald. The meeting took place at the commission’s headquarters, 153 Crest Haven Road, Crest Haven.

On Oct. 19, the county Bridge Commission received bids from five contractors to repair Corson's Inlet Bridge.

Those base bids ranged from $3.36 million to $4.4 million.

All were rejected, since they came in $1 million higher than the commission expected, O’Connor confirmed.

At 12:54 p.m. Feb. 1, State Police at Woodbine station received a call that a vehicle had crashed on Strathmere (Corson’s Inlet) Bridge.

In the interim, alert Strathmere residents heard the crash, and quickly reacted, grabbing blankets to warm the crash victims.
Police reported that, for an unknown reason, the 2006 Ford Expedition, operated by Nicole Crudele, 18, of Sea Isle City, a senior at Ocean City High School, and in which her brother, Michael, 18, was a passenger, veered off the bridge deck and plunged into the 36-degree back bay water.

The siblings, niece and nephew of Freeholder Vice Director and Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio, safely exited the sunken vehicle, and swam to safety. On the beach, residents aided them.

Both were transported to by Ocean City Fire Rescue AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Division for non-life threatening injuries, which included lacerations and exposure.

The vehicle was recovered by N.J. State Police T.E.A .M.S. Unit, Strathmere Fire Company, N.J. State Park Police and Cape May County Road Department.

Also responding were N.J. State Police Marine Bureau, Sea Isle City Police, and Ocean City Fire Department.
Cape May County Engineer Dale Foster responded to the scene, and after surveying the damage, ordered the bridge closed, pending a thorough inspection and repairs.

Trooper Jason Barker headed the investigation.

Contact Campbell at (609) 886-8600 Ext 28 or at:

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