Haley says NJDOT will replace
Higginsville Road bridge; Conrail to pay all costs
Transportation Commissioner John J. Haley Jr. said today that the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will begin work Monday to replace the Higginsville Road bridge in Readington Township, which was demolished by a Conrail freight train on May 30.
"It has been a full week since the freight train destroyed the bridge. In less than 24 hours after the incident Conrail trains were back in service," Haley said. "My primary concern is that the residents of Readington Township who depend on this bridge, especially police and emergency services, are being unduly detoured. For this reason, I am instructing NJDOT staff to immediately begin work to replace the bridge."
Haley said the NJDOT will replace the bridge at a height of 21 feet to accommodate future Conrail freight shipments and expects the structure can be back in service by the beginning of July. The commissioner said Conrail has committed to paying for the work, which he estimated at $400,000.
Haley said Conrail will replace the steel truss bridge with an ACROW panel span, one similar to that used in Winslow Township (Camden County) last month when a bridge carrying Route 561 over a Conrail line was destroyed by an overweight crane.
The NJDOT recently inspected the Higginsville Road Bridge on May 22 and found it structurally sound. The department also made repairs, including the replacement of decking planks and timber beams, to the span in May 1995.