This bridge is an impressive multi-span example of an uncommon truss configuration, the Double-Intersection Warren. Additionally, it is a rare surviving example of a bridge built by the New Jersey Bridge Company. The plaques on the bridge are a design that is very similar to one of the several plaque types used by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company... likely a total coincidence, but unusual nonetheless.
Missing ornamental features from the bridge can be seen in an old postcard and include finials and portal cresting. The original lattice railing looks to have had ornamental rosettes/button as well.
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. Certainly not PennDOT. The existance of the DRJTBC prevented this series of Delaware River bridges from being owned by PennDOT, which in turn is undoubtedly why so many historic bridges survive. Compare the Delaware River to other rivers where all the bridges are owned by PennDOT such as the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River... the listings on HistoricBridges.org show the staggering amount of historic bridge demolition by PennDOT, destruction that is a total contrast to the successful rehabilitation of so many DRJTBC-owned historic bridges, including some carrying high volumes of traffic.
Riverton-Belvidere Bridge was rehabilitated in 2007 at a cost of $8.8 million.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 1904, riveted, 4-span (3 @ 153", 1 @ 170"), 629' long, double intersection Warren with verticals thru truss bridge is supported on ashlar abutments and piers that date to the 19th century. The pier bases were encased in concrete in 1929 and 1931, and the trusses were strengthened in 1929 with additional members welded to the diagonals. The intermediate verticals and subties are rolled I section, and they appear to be original. The sidewalk was added in 1931. The steel grid deck replaced a wood plank deck in 1947. The tenders' shelter dates to 1941. The bridge is historically and technologically significant as a rare example of its truss design, an early, riveted, long-span bridge, and as an example of the work of a small, regional fabricator that did not survive in competition with large conglomerates like American Bridge Company.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over the Delaware River between the village of Riverton and Belvidere, NJ. There are several ca. 1875 stone houses in Riveton that retain integrity of original design, but other buildings in the village, like the hotel/restaurant beyond the NW quadrant are highly altered. The village does not have the consistency or cohesiveness to be a historic district.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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