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This is the second longest surviving Phoenix column truss bridge, and it has been preserved for continued vehicular use. The bridge was extensively rehabilitated
in 2010 and it continues to carry vehicular traffic as a result. The truss lines
retain good historic integrity, however one major alteration is that all sway
bracing appears to have been replaced with modern welded beams. While these
beams are shaped similar to Phoenix columns, the flanges are simple plate welded
to tube, and no rivets are present. Another, much older alteration is the repair
of a pair of end posts and portal bracing of one of the intermediate spans on
the bridge. Steel plates were riveted around the original Phoenix columns at
this span. Another unusual feature of this bridge is the old riveted cable towers that are positioned in front of the portals at each end of the bridge. These towers no longer hold cables, but the towers have been preserved in place.
This bridge is owned by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC). The DRJTBC has a unique commitment to maintaining the many historic bridges under its ownership, and working with the communities the bridges serve, and sets an example for the rest of the country to follow. The front page of their website often features a photo of a historic bridge, and their slogan is Preserving Our Past, Enhancing Our Future. How many other road/bridge agencies in the United States promote their commitment to historic bridges in this way? Not many. Not only is the DRJTBC an example of how money might be better spent in regards to non-toll bridges, the DRJTBC bridges are also a great reference when arguing that a historic bridge can be rehabilitated and can also safely continue to function as a vehicular crossing.
Above: Historical photo of bridge showing cable tower in use.
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