Known as The Coopers Bridge, the new Route 35 Bridge connects Middletown and Red Bank, and is a fine example of the usage of concrete in all phases of bridge design. Both the construction partnering team and the architectural treatments were pioneering efforts in a “context-sensitive” approach to project delivery. The success of this project has initiated the use of this design approach for future New Jersey Department of Transportation projects.
H&H’s design, a new 1021-ft-long, 85-foot-wide structure, replaced a structurally and geometrically deficient 70-year-old, low-level bridge. The new bridge consists of nine spans, each 113.5 foot long, and comprises three 3-span prestressed AASHTO girder systems made continuous for live load. The bridge cross-section consists of twelve girders, a cast-in-place reinforced concrete deck, and concrete sidewalks and parapets. This structure has four 12-foot lanes; two 10-foot shoulders; two 6-foot sidewalks; and an 8-foot median. The bridge also has precast concrete pier caps and several architectural precast concrete features such as panels, copings, and light standard supports. H&H’s design work included seismic and scour modeling.
The bridge substructure comprises eight pile bent piers, two abutments, and four retaining walls. The pile bent piers consist of six 54-inch diameter, hollow prestressed concrete piles driven into the dense sand below the river bottom. The pile caps consist of two precast concrete sections for staged construction tied together with cast-in-place concrete pours. The pile-to-cap connection was also made with a cast-in-place concrete pour. The abutments were constructed of cast-in-place reinforced concrete along with two retaining walls. The other retaining walls consist of a prefabricated modular T-Wall system with exposed aggregate faces for aesthetics.
To maintain continuous traffic, the bridge replacement was performed in stages. A portion of the new bridge was built alongside the existing bridge during Stage I. During Stage II, traffic was moved to the Stage I section of the new bridge, the existing bridge was demolished, and the remaining portion of the new bridge was then constructed.