Frederick Gottemoeller - Bridgescape LLC

Bridges Speak To Us

Route 52 over Great Egg Harbor Bay Route 52 over Great Egg Harbor Bay Route 52 over Great Egg Harbor Bay Route 52 over Great Egg Harbor Bay Route 52 over Great Egg Harbor Bay Route 52 over Great Egg Harbor Bay

Route 52 over Great Egg Harbor Bay

Ocean City, NJ

The crossing is visible from two nearby historic areas, the Bayfront Historic District in Somers point and the Dockside Café/ Marina in Ocean City and involved the replacement of the historic Somers Point traffic circle and site improvements to the adjoining historic Somers Mansion. With all of these issues in mind The NJ Department of Transportation organized a Community Partnering Team (CPT) including representatives of the two towns, local businesses and the State Historic Preservation Officer help guide the project. Mr. Gottemoeller worked closely with this group in developing concepts for the project.

To respond to their concerns the project included landscaping and urban design improvements for a one-mile section of NJ 52 in Somers Point. Historic commemorative features were constructed at both the Somers Point and Ocean City abutments. Railings are designed so that bridge users can see through them to the panorama of natural environment and resorts. The bridge includes many other people-friendly features, including accommodations for boat launching, pedestrian/bicycle use, fishing and wildlife viewing areas. On the Ocean City side increasingly severe high tides had made necessary the raising of four blocks of 9th Street to preserve access to the bridge, which is one of only three emergency escape routes to the mainland.

The bridge itself is actually two side by side bridges constructed separately to allow traffic to continue on the old bridges during construction. Structurally the bridges are prestressed concrete I-girder bridges supported by T-shape piers. The piers themselves consist of a single narrow shaft split by a V-shaped opening just below the pier cap. The opening visually detaches the superstructure from the piers, so that the "ribbon in space" appears to float above the water. The podium for the Visitors Center includes a 400 ft, long, 68 ft. wide curved cast in place, post-tensioned trapezoidal box girder carrying parking above island wetlands.

The new Visitors Center emulates the historic Ocean City Yacht Club, which was lost to a fire in the 1930's. It includes an information center, meeting rooms and restrooms surrounded by wide two-story porches that provide excellent lookouts to the bay and an adjacent heron rookery.

Mr. Gottemoeller developed the aesthetic aspects of the bridges, designed the new Ocean City Visitors Center, served as urban designer for both approaches, including the one mile long parkway in Somers Point and site redevelopment for the historic Somers Mansion, and assisted with the community involvement.

The project was built in multiple phases of Design/Bid/Build procurement. The conceptual and preliminary design plans were prepared by Michael Baker Jr,. Inc with participation by Mr. Gottemoeller. The final design and construction plans were developed by Michael Baker Jr. Inc. with review and comment by Mr. Gottemoeller.

  • Length: 2.2 miles.
  • Width: 84 ft.
  • Spans: 160 ft. over the navigation channels, 140 ft elsewhere
  • Approximate Project Cost: $400,000,000
  • Year of Completion: 2013
  • Design Engineer: Michael Baker, Jr, Inc.
  • Owner: New Jersey Department of Transportation

Photo Credits: Joanne Stokes