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Ringwood's new West Brook Road bridge on the horizon

A barge sits on the Wanaque Reservoir as a new bridge first suggested in 2001 begins to materialize.
A barge sits on the Wanaque Reservoir as a new bridge first suggested in 2001 begins to materialize. Photo Credit: Simon Galperin

RINGWOOD, N.J. — A barge floated in the Wanaque Reservoir Wednesday as construction crews worked to install the replacement to Ringwood’s nearly nine-decade-old West Brook Road bridge.

“The intention of the [construction] is the safety of the the residents and public” said Ringwood Mayor Walter Davison. "We hope it will become the safe bridge we need and expect."

Calls from Passaic County officials to replace the bridge began in 2001 and were met with requests from the community to preserve the bridge for its historic value.

Davison noted there have been some delays since construction was slated to begin in 2013 but he's glad that there have no been no complaints from borough residents.

The West Brook Road Bridge was built in 1928 as a part of the creation of the Wanaque Reservoir. The process of damming the Wanaque River and its tributaries began in 1926.

The bridge was built to allow for vehicular and pedestrian traffic between the boroughs of Ringwood and Wanaque where there was previously dry land, according to Wanaque Reservoir Historic District’s website.

Between 2001 and 2009, preservationists, environmentalists, engineers, and government officials sought to bridge their own divides in order to come to an agreement as how to meet the goal of replacing a bridge that the county had designated 10-years too-old.

The project is funded by federal highway funds and is expected to cost $28 million.

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