Location: Ocean City & Somers Point, NJ
Michael Baker International provided comprehensive engineering services for the replacement of the Route 52 Causeway and the reconstruction of approximately 2.8 miles of Route 52 from Route 9 in Somers Point to Bay Avenue in Ocean City. Originally constructed in 1933, the Causeway was a four-lane, undivided highway with 10-foot-wide travel lanes and no shoulders on a low-level embankment, with four structures over Great Egg Harbor Bay, Ship Channel, and Beach Thorofare Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW). The structures consisted of two concrete bascule bridges; one over the Intracoastal Waterway near Ocean City, and the other over Ship Channel near Somers Point. The other two structures were low-level trestle bridges. Route 52 provides the major access to Ocean City from Somers Point and serves as the emergency evacuation route. All four bridges had severely deteriorated, and could no longer accommodate increased highway and marine traffic around the popular resort towns. There was a high accident rate on the causeway due to the traffic congestion, narrow lanes, and lack of shoulders to accommodate breakdowns. During storms, waves washing over the two low trestle bridges made them impassable. One of the largest projects ever undertaken by the client, the Route 52 Causeway Replacement included approximately 7,000 feet of new and widened roadway / bridge construction and a new 3,500-square-foot Visitor Center with associated utilities. Michael Baker International was an integral part of the construction management team that delivered the first phase contract eight months ahead of schedule.