Glimmer Glass Bridge

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Glimmer Glass Bridge
The bridge as seen from the Brielle side
Carries Motor vehicles (cars only)
Bicycles and pedestrians
Crosses Glimmer Glass Creek
Locale Manasquan, New Jersey
Official name Brielle Road Bridge over the Glimmer Glass (W-9)
Other name(s) Brielle Road Bridge W-9
Named for Glimmer Glass Creek
Owner County of Monmouth
Maintained by Department of Public Works and Engineering
NBI 13000W9[1]
Design Lift Bascule
Material Steel, Wrought iron, Wood
Total length 278.9 ft (85.0 m)
Width 20 ft (6.1 m)
Height 14.1 ft (4.3 m)
Longest span 34.1 ft (10.4 m)
Clearance below 6.9 ft (2.1 m)
Opened August 13, 1938 (1938-08-13)
Daily traffic 6,846 (2013)
Brielle Road Bridge over the Glimmer Glass
Glimmer Glass Bridge is located in Monmouth County, New Jersey
Glimmer Glass Bridge
Coordinates 40°06′42.61″N 74°02′41.85″W / 40.1118361°N 74.0449583°W / 40.1118361; -74.0449583Coordinates: 40°06′42.61″N 74°02′41.85″W / 40.1118361°N 74.0449583°W / 40.1118361; -74.0449583
Built 1938 (1938)
Architectural style Lift bascule bridge
NRHP Reference # 08000336[2]
NJRHP # 4307[3]
Significant dates
Designated  April 25, 2008 (2008-04-25)
Designated NJRHP February 28, 2008 (2008-02-28)[3]

The Glimmer Glass Bridge is a bridge in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. It carries traffic from Brielle Road over the Glimmer Glass, a navigable tidal inlet of the Manasquan River, between Manasquan and Brielle. It is owned by the County of Monmouth.


The Glimmer Glass Bridge was built in 1898. It is a cable lift bascule bridge, using a rolling counterweight design and is technologically and historically significant as the only example of its type in New Jersey.[4] It may also be the only example in the eastern half of the United States.[5]

Scientific American in an 1896 issue described a recently completed nearby bridge on the Erie Railroad on its main line over Berrys Creek near Rutherford, New Jersey:

"...although the principle behind the design is not entirely new, the Berry's Creek Bridge is the first application of this system of counter weighing for a structure of this magnitude."[6]

The principle is to use a curved track and rolling counterweights where the work expended in raising the leaf is equal to the energy released by the falling counterweight. The toe end of the movable span is linked by cables to cylindrical rolling counterweights. The connecting cable passes over a tower column with a curved track. Moving the counterweights along the curved track thus raises or lowers the bridge. The work expended in raising the leaf is equal to the energy released by the falling counterweight. The toe end of the moveable span is linked by cables to cylindrical rolling counterweights.[7] The rolling counterweight single-leaf bascule bridge with a deck girder movable leaf is the only example of the late 19th-century bridge type in the state of New Jersey and possibly the entire country.[8] It was, at the time, a popular design for railroads in New Jersey for spanning canals.

The bridge has been rebuilt several times. The wood tower column and track were redone in 1957 and 1971, and the steel grid deck on the ca. 1950 deck girder movable span was installed in 1962. However, the integrity of the original design has been maintained and it operates in the original manner.[8]


The Glimmer Glass Bridge is located in a salt marsh lowland surrounded by what was once a seasonal community of small bungalows and cottages. It connects the historic shore towns of Manasquan and Manasquan Beach on Brielle Road with the mainland over Glimmer Glass Creek/Watson Creek to Brielle by way of Fisk Avenue. Both towns, however, the structures have been modified and new homes have been built in Manasquan and neighboring Brielle, leaving the area near the bridge not eligible for historic district status as determined by the State of New Jersey.

Closure and Repairs[edit]

In August 2014, the bridge was closed due to significant damage to sections of the bridge deck, which appeared to have been caused by a severe overload (by a truck).[9] The bridge had a posted three-ton limit. Initial assessments indicated that the repair work could have taken up to three weeks to complete.[10] However, after a more detailed inspection, it was determined that the damage combined with the age of the bridge eliminated the option of a quick fix.

The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders awarded the contract to Howell-based George Harms Construction Co. to make the repairs, which local officials said included replacing its pilings and removing and replacing rotted wooden joists. The estimated price tag to replace the bridge was more than $20 million, and the county would look for federal funding for that work.[11]

The work to repair the 279-foot bridge, which connects Brielle and Manasquan over a tidal inlet, began on October 1.[12] Despite record cold temperatures, several winter storms and exceptional high tides, 11 weeks ahead of schedule, the bridge reopened to traffic on March 13, 2015.[13]


  1. ^ "Glimmer Glass Bridge, 13000W9". National Bridge Inventory. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form - Brielle Road Bridge over the Glimmer Glass W-9" (PDF). National Park Service. United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Brielle Road Bridge over the Glimmer Glass (S.I.&A. #13000W9)" (PDF). Historic Preservation Office New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. NJ DEP. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Glimmer Glass Bridge: Historical and Technological Significance, Preservation New Jersey. Accessed July 22, 2007.
  5. ^ Perkons, George (1993), Personal interview with Mary E. McCahon, A.G. Lichtenstein & Associates 
  6. ^ "Counterweighted Lift Bridge on the Erie Railroad". Scientific American. 75: 389–390. November 28, 1896. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  7. ^ New Jersey Historic Bridge Data Glimmer Glass Bridge, A. G. Lichtenstein & Associates, Inc.. Accessed October 14, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Glimmerglass Road Bridge, Connolly & Hickey Historical Architects. Accessed October 14, 2014.
  9. ^ George, Dempsey. "Information from Mayor George Dempsey regarding Brielle Road and Glimmer Glass Bridge Closure" (PDF). Borough of Manasquan. Office of the Mayor. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Brown, Caitlin (August 8, 2014). "Glimmer Glass Bridge Closed for Emergency Repair". Manasquan-Belmar Patch. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  11. ^ Spoto, MaryAnn (September 30, 2014). "Future of Glimmer Glass Bridge in Manasquan uncertain as it closes for repairs". Daily Record (Morristown). Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  12. ^ Radel, Dan (October 13, 2014). "Christie OKs $1.6 million for Glimmer Glass Bridge". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  13. ^ Spoto, MaryAnn (13 March 2015). "Historic bridge to Manasquan oceanfront reopens after damages repaired". NJ Advance Media. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 

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