2021 Update: The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge is continuing its committment to historic bridge preservation by starting a major rehabilitation of this bridge. It is great to see this bridge has a bright future! Following are details of the rehab from DRJTBC:
As currently scheduled, project construction is now expected to begin in the fall of this year and reach completion in the spring of 2023. Scope of work includes:
Strengthen floor beams (steel members below the bridge's road deck)
Repair/replace buckling steel eye-bar components on the center portion of the bridge, the section that was reconstructed after the 1955 river flood
Replace the bridge's two deteriorating fiberglass walkway surfaces
Outfit the bridge with a new architectural lighting system
Repair deteriorating masonry at the bridge's abutments and wingwalls
Repaint the bridge
The project's design work is being conducted by GPI of Lebanon, N.J. under a contract the Commission awarded for a not-to-exceed amount of $1,420,768.65 in April 2020.
The Commission has established a webpage – www.drjtbc.org/project/freebridge -- to explain the project and provide additional background.
This bridge is a unique, incredible blend of engineering and artistry that is unlike any other bridge in the country. At first glance, it has the appearance of an eyebar suspension bridge. However, this bridge is a true cantilever truss bridge. The cantilever arms of this bridge hold a 50 foot (15.2 meter) suspended span truss in the center that has a cleverly disguised design wherein there is no change in the curve of the top chord as it transitions from the cantilever arm to the suspended span. The main indication of the transition is that the diagonal members suddenly become compression members in the center, where the diagonals on the rest of the bridge are tension members (eyebars). The suspended span follows a warren truss configuration.
There are very few cantilever bridges in the United States remaining that are pin-connected in their entirety, and as such the Northampton Street Bridge is technologically significant. The bridge is also a very beautiful bridge, and includes decorative finials, plaques, and statues of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey state seals.
The bridge was rehabilitated in 1924. The bridge underwent major renovation 1957 following severe damage caused by flooding. Despite this, the bridge appears to retain integrity of design. The bridge was also rehabilitated in 1990 and 2002.
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.
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|A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer|
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|A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer|
Mobile Optimized Photos
|A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer|
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