MIDDLETOWN – The bridge on Bray Avenue over Pews Creek in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown has been closed in the interest of public safety.While only the bridge is closed, traffic between Main Street and Thompson Avenue is being detoured. Bray Avenue will be open to local traffic only. The bridge is closed to vehicle traffic until further notice. Pedestrian access will continue. Detour signs have been posted.Prior to the closure, Monmouth County had been in the process of preparing plans and specification for the replacement of the 60-year old bridge.“The bridge sustained additional damage as a result of Super Storm Sandy and the county is concerned about the safety and continued use of the bridge,” Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said. “County engineers, in agreement with the county’s outside bridge inspection professionals, have recommended that the bridge should be closed to vehicular traffic so that a more detailed inspection could be made about the future of the bridge.”County engineer Joseph Ettore said, “Recent inspections revealed a defect in the substructure of the timber bridge. Preliminary inspections indicated that the additional damage to this structure was sustained when the bridge was overtopped by the tidal surge from Super Storm Sandy.”The bridge had a posted 5-ton weight limit.“The county understands the inconvenience that this closure will have on the motoring public in the area,” Arnone said. “Our concern is for the safety of the travelling public and the county will work to determine the best course of action for this structure.”The bridge inspection was completed by Greenman Peterson Inc. of Lebanon.
FAIR HAVEN – The annual Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair opened Friday night to large crowds and perfect weather.The fair, known for its seafood dinners, rides and fun, will continue at the 645 River Road firehouse through Saturday. Hours Monday though Thursday are 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday the fair will be open from 6 to 11 p.m.The running of the fair requires the efforts of about 125 volunteers each night to operate the various attractions. The attraction requiring the most effort is the dining area. Located in a tent and the first aid squad boys, the area can hold about 150 diners per seating who can select from a variety of seafood and “landlubber” dinners, prepared and served by volunteers. During the day, volunteers work on getting things ready for evening. Among the daytime volunteers are borough kids who take on the responsibility of shucking corn in exchange for ride tickets.Last year, fairgoers consumed about 18,000 hot dogs and about the same number of hamburgers. Along with those offerings, ice cream is available and adults can go to the beer garden where for wine and beer are available. The annual Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, a longstanding borough tradition, is being held each night through Saturday. Scott Longfield