Route 514 Bridge in
Franklin Township closed immediately
Structural issues pose risk to motoring public
(Trenton) - New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced the closure of the Route 514/Amwell Road Bridge in Franklin Township that crosses the Delaware and Raritan Canal. The bridge is on the Department’s “structurally deficient” list but recent inspections have caused a heightened level of concern.
“I never want to close a bridge,” said NJDOT Commissioner Jamie Fox. “It is a serious inconvenience but safety has to come first. We are working with local and county officials to minimize the impact of this closure.”
While the bridge was awaiting replacement the weight restriction was reduced to 14 tons. Tractor trailers weighing 40 tons have been seen crossing the bridge adding further stress to the deteriorated structure. The Department recorded the underside of the bridge as large trucks traversed it resulting in an unsafe and excessive movement of the superstructure. Temporary repairs were performed in the summer to keep the bridge open for traffic.
“Although temporary repair measures were put in place, our engineers are concerned that those repairs are no longer adequate and overweight trucks continue to cross the bridge,” Fox said. “Our only option now is to close the bridge to avert a potential disaster. We will be moving on more permanent repairs immediately and hope to have the bridge open to traffic by the end of February.”