DENVILLE - The busy Openaki Road Bridge in Denville, a one-lane span that crosses the Den Brook at Openaki Lake, at the Randolph border, will be closed to traffic for at least three days next month to allow for repairs to a recently discovered structural flaw.

While the bridge currently is safe to use, that section of the bridge deck must be fixed as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration.

The bridge is scheduled to be fully replaced in 2020 but the existing bridge must be kept in service until that time.

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The repair work, to be done by the county Bridge Division, has tentatively been scheduled for Aug. 8, 9 and 10, prior to the start of the school year. 

County officials have reached out to officials in Randolph and Denville to advise them of the issue and to coordinate the repair work schedule and a detour plan.

During the work, Openaki Road, which becomes Casterline Road in Randolph, will be closed from Shongum Road to Everdale Road to Mountainside Drive. Motorists should plan for alternate routes, especially during commuter hours.

The Openaki Road Bridge, a steel stringer structure, was built in 1924 and was rehabilitated in 1992. The 15.5-foot-wide, 54-footl-ong bridge carries an average of 4,600 vehicles daily. It is posted to carry 13 tons.

The recent inspection by the state Department of Transportation found that a portion of the deck slab was fractured and had settled, exposing the bridge’s reinforcement steel.