A bridge replacement project is slated to start in 2014. Officials say it's long overdue.

The Route 88 Bridge over Beaver Dam Creek will turn 89 years old in the new year. An engineering study is currently underway by the Department of Transportation for a full upgrade of the span. The bridge is on the structurally deficient list so it is expected to qualify for a certain amount of federal funding. The status doesn't mean the bridge will collapse or anything like that. It's simply a classification by the DOT to spearhead projects forward.

The bridge acts as a connecting border for Brick Township and Point Pleasant. Some of the concerns from local residents and officials have been on possible traffic problems during construction. Several ideas are now being kicked around as to how to best detour the vehicles going in and out of the area.

The current bridge stands about 30 feet long. The proposal states they will increase that to 52 feet in order to help traffic flow.

Spokesman Tim Greeley says "at this point, it's too early to speculate pricing. We are really in the early stages. However, we have been very transparent and open to all suggestions and comments from the public."

The Beaver Dam Creek underneath the span is part of environmentally protected wetlands. This is one of the reasons for the delay in the project. Special permits are needed in order for it to be done.

Reach the Department of Transportation online at state.nj.us/transportation