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Letter to the Editor: Preserve the Glimmer Glass Bridge

Fran Drew, of Third Avenue in Manasquan, says the bridge is safe

Preserving History has untold rewards. Historic Preservation enhances culture, brings the joy of recognition of accomplishment, and serves to establish value in our life.  

For these, and for many more reasons, I bring to your attention some important facts about the Glimmer Glass Bridge, so that you can make intelligent decisions on its future.

The Glimmer Glass Bridge is safe.  If it were unsafe, Joe Ettore, Monmouth County Engineer, would shut it down.

The August 5, 2002 report from Hatch Mott McDonald regarding "Accident History, 3 year period" indicates: "Based on a search of accident reports within the project area, there is no significant accident history in the study area."

The bridge is 122 years old and has been a safe crossing for all that time.           

According to the NJDOT crash records, in the last 12 years [1997-2008] 251,167 accidents have occurred on road systems in Monmouth County.  Manasquan Police records show NONE of them on the Glimmer Glass Bridge.

76% of Manasquan’s 99 streets have LESS or the same passable width (20’) as the Glimmer Glass Bridge.

As per FHWA, Office of Project Development & Environmental Review, the 20' road width on the bascule span is a traffic calming device. A wider span would encourage faster speeds which may well result in the increased likelihood of accidents.

There is a 5’ sidewalk along the Glimmer Glass Bridge, enough for pedestrians and bikers to walk their bikes across the bridge.  The small section of narrower sidewalk at the bascule can be increased to 5 feet.

The live load capacity of the Bridge can be increased to 40 tons which would carry all the emergency vehicles.  In addition, there are two other bridges in Manasquan that do the same thing, and one of them, the Main Street Bridge has access to the beach a mere 612 feet away from the access point of the Glimmer Glass Bridge.  The Main Street Bridge is also the main thoroughfare for all of Manasquan’s emergency equipment.

The Glimmer Glass Bridge is the last bridge of its type in the world.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places and it is on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.  

It will remain on those Registers when it is replaced in-kind.  

If the Bridge is made wider, and larger, it will not remain on the Registers and this National Treasure that we have in Manasquan will be lost.

So, if we want to keep those things that make us proud to live in Manasquan, give us joy, increase the quality of our lives, and give us a real sense of history, we have to make decisions based on facts, not hearsay or hysteria.   

All too soon, we have lost and are losing those values --- we lost our beachfront view and the entire town was declared a flood zone when the Council rushed to vote for the dunes, we lost the RR station, we lost the first brick school house that used to be the Borough Hall, we are now losing our Town Green, and if we fail to base decisions on the true facts, we will lose the Glimmer Glass Bridge– the very icon that is on the Manasquan website and on the MBIA website, in the PNC bank mural, hanging on the Central Jersey Bank Wall, on our Christmas ornaments and in our hearts.

Fran Drew

Third Avenue, Manasquan

Localreader October 17, 2012 at 03:34 PM
This bridge is not safe now and will become less safe if we do not replace it soon. Stop with all the bickering! Sometimes we just have to let go of prized possessions.
Brielle Bike Rider October 17, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Mrs. Drew, thanks for your tale of fictional spin and irrelevant information. Here are the facts you like to ignore. Engineering studies, including the "independent one" demaded by the group who wants to Save the Bridge, prove that the entire bridge needs to be demolished. All existing timber is so rotten or falling apart it all has to be thrown away. That is a FACT. The existing wood roadway has totally collapsed in sections and is currently cover by steel plates under the asphalt. So the entire deck will be removed. That is a FACT. All of the pilings have to be replaced, all of the abutments have to be replaced. That is a FACT. All of the railings need to meet today's codes to ensure people don't fall through them or over them. Again, another FACT. So....no matter what a totally new bridge is needed and needed now. Last time you stated if it will be replaced you want it replaced in kind. Who would ever suggest, approve and/or pay for a brand new bridge that will only last 30-50 years, and still be the same narrow, unsafe width? Oh, and you forgot to mention a timber bridge woud be made of CCA timber, which is Arsenic treated timber. Non-polluting timber such as Greenhardt would be way too expensive, so any timber bridge would use tons of Arsenic treated timber right in the waters we fish & swim in. Doesn't seem to make any sense to me. Plus the new one will look just like the old, so you can still reuse your Christmas Ornanments.

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