01/2018: In August, 2014, an overweight truck was driven onto the bridge which caused the deck and substructure to be damaged. The bridge was closed to traffic for 8 months while repairs were made. The work, which involved about 30% of the bridge, was done in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior Standards so that the bridge remains on the Historic Registers. The bridge is now closed to automobile traffic because of deteriorated pilings in the substructure. It is estimated in January, 2018 that the bridge will have to be closed for 18 weeks to make the necessary repairs. Currently, plans call for repair of all remaining pilings also in accordance with Secretary of Interior Standards. This will leave mainly only the portal and approaches to complete the repairs giving the bridge a new long life. Read the full update from The Committee to Save The Glimmer Glass Bridge.
07/2010 Update: The controversy continues over whether the bridge should be repaired or replaced, a debate that has been going on for several years now. The bridge has been acknowledged as “substandard” since the 1980s, yet the county has made only minimal stabilization repairs to date. The Glimmer Glass Bridge was listed on the National Register and the State Register of Historic Places in 2008. Therefore the project must go through Section 106 Review because it involves federal money through the DOT. Locals and advocates of the bridge’s repair are afraid the Section 106 Review will not be properly fulfilled, as the county does not seem interested in saving the historic bridge. The decision is being further delayed due to question over the level of documentation needed in the bridge study. The county has completed a Categorical Exclusion Document, but the DOT may require a full Environmental Assessment (a more intensive analysis) that would include historical, socioeconomic, environmental, and air quality assessments. The project awaits a decision on the level of documentation to be required. The fate of this historic bridge remains unknown.
05/06 A group of interested citizens and advocates are working to prepare a National Register nomination for the Bridge.
This moving bridge, built around 1898, carries a two-lane highway over the Glimmer Glass inlet of the Manasquan River. It is a bascule bridge, a French design popular in the 1890s that employ rolling counterweights at one end of a span to cause the other end to pivot.
Glimmer Glass Bridge is controlled from an operator’s house and although it has been modernized, it functions as first designed and its original mechanism is substantially intact.
In recent years NJDOT has favored and the Federal Highway Administration has insisted upon high-level replacement bridges that contain no moveable spans. For example, this policy led to the replacement of the Victory Bridge over the Raritan River, a previous 10 Most Endangered Sites list member.
The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority recently approved funds for final design work on the replacement of the Glimmer Glass Bridge. But it is a unique technological artifact, the only “portal-frame” bridge remaining in New Jersey. PNJ believes it deserves preservation.
NJDOT has requested Monmouth County to examine all feasible preservation alternatives.
Save the Glimmer Glass Bridge Committee
111 Third Avenue
Manasquan, NJ 08736