Plans call for replacement of bridges in Hopewell Township

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Plans are in the works to replace two bridges in Hopewell Township that are in poor condition, using a $3.2 million state grant that has been awarded to Mercer County by the state Department of Transportation (DOT).

One project calls for replacing two adjacent bridge structures, both of which are owned by Mercer County, on county Route 518 that crosses over Bedens Brook and a tributary to Bedens Brook, according to county officials.

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Another bridge that is slated to be replaced is the bridge on county Route 546 (Washington Crossing-Pennington Road) that crosses over Woolsey’s Brook.

Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is currently relocating its poles and moving wires in the vicinity of the Route 518 bridge, county officials said. Then, Verizon and Comcast will move their wires. SJ Industries, formerly known as Elizabethtown Gas Co., will relocate its natural gas line.

The Mercer County Engineering Division is hopeful the utility relocation work will be completed by late September. The next step would be for county officials to advertise the project, seek bids and award a contract.

Work on the Route 518 bridge project could begin in December. It will take about eight months to complete. Because the affected portion of Route 518 will be closed around the clock, a detour will be set up.

The bridge project over Woolsey’s Creek on Route 546 will follow a similar schedule, county officials said.

PSE&G will relocate its poles and lines, and then Verizon and Comcast can move their wires. SJ Industries will relocate its natural gas line.

Then, county officials will advertise the project and award a contract, most likely in January 2019. Work will begin soon after and last about six months.

The affected section of Route 546 will be closed around the clock, so a detour will be posted for motorists.

The grant funding for the projects is part of the DOT’s Local Bridge, Future Needs grant program. The grant program is funded through the DOT’s Transportation Trust Fund. The grants are intended to help counties focus on bridges under their control that have the greatest structural deficiencies.

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