Project: Route 52 Causeway Replacement
Owner: New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT)
Client: Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
Rt. 52 Bridge - Wave Action affecting Existing Causeway

The Route 52 Causeway Replacement Project, one of the largest bridge replacement projects ever in Southern New Jersey, is a 4-lane bridge that spans 2.1 miles of Great Egg Harbor Bay from Somers Point to Ocean City, New Jersey. The causeway crosses two navigation channels and four bay islands. Motorists and pedestrians alike have access to two of the islands for fishing and bird watching. One of the key elements it the new Visitor�s Center and Scenic Overlook scheduled to open in 2011. It will overlook the bay including a colonial shorebird rookery that is home to the state endangered Yellow Night Crowned Heron. The center is equipped with a nature classroom and assembly area.

Rowbear Consulting, PC recently helped the NJDOT revise project environmental permits to allow the NJDOT to pump dredge material generated by moving the navigation channels to Malibu Beach Wildlife Management Area (WMA) owned by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to help rebuild the ocean side of the WMA. Hundreds of feet of protective beach has washed away of the last decade. The erosion is so severe that the last remaining sand dunes are at risk that protect key forage habitat for migrating shorebirds including the piping plover.

Rt. 52 Bridge - Architectural rendering of Visitor Center The contractor will use a hydraulic dredge to mix sand from the bay bottom with water so it can be pumped three miles to the WMA. The NJDOT expects to place approximately 40,000 cubic yards of sand to restore about 2,000 feet of beach. The beach nourishment program is the latest in several cooperative efforts between the NJDEP and the NJDOT to improve the ecosystems in the vicinity of Route 52 while reducing the overall cost for building the new bridge.

Staff at Rowbear were also instrumental in the creating, planning and designing many of the innovative elements integrated into the Route 52 Causeway Replacement Project including the Scenic Overlook and Visitors Center, bioengineered shoreline protections of the bay islands and leading the development of the cooperative agreement between NJDOT and NJDEP for habitat preservation and restoration of Malibu Beach.

Rt. 52 Bridge - Architectural rendering of new bridge over navigation channel near Somers Point
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