Along with the usual water ice, greasy pizza, and tubes of sunscreen, the unofficial first weekend of summer was marked by a new arrival this year at the Jersey Shore: 175,000 cubic yards of concrete.
It didn’t arrive all at once, of course, but the concrete — the Route 52 causeway bridge — is now a finished product and represents a major feat of engineering. The bridge stretches more than two miles from Somers Point on the mainland to the barrier island of Ocean City, able to accommodate 40,000 cars a day.
The construction techniques to erect such a structure have long been standard in the industry, one of them tracing its roots to a historic 1950 overpass in Philadelphia. But the sheer scope of this new bridge, a $400 million project overseen by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, was unusual.