NJDOT awards $1 million grant for Burlington County bridge replacement


By. David Levinsky

The Burlington County Bridge Commission has been awarded a $1 million grant to replace the nearly 80-year-old Pompeston Creek Bridge connecting Riverton and Palmyra.

The grant was awarded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Local Bridge, Future Needs program to repair or replace aging or damaged spans.

The Pompeston Creek Bridge was built in 1934 and is on River Road, also known as Route 543. It is one of 36 bridges in the county rated “structurally deficient” by the federal government based on 2012 inspection records.

Structurally deficient bridges are considered in poor condition because of deterioration or because they require significant maintenance or repair. It does not mean the bridge is unsafe.

An average of 9,626 cars cross the Pompeston Creek Bridge daily, but its deck, superstructure and substructure are all rated “poor,” according to federal inspection data.

The Burlington County Bridge Commission has owned the bridge since 1966 and has sought funding for its replacement for at least the last three years.

Information on how much replacement of the bridge is expected to cost and when work might begin was not available Tuesday.

The $1 million award was one of 25 given by the DOT for the current fiscal year as part of the Local Bridges, Future Needs program.

Each of New Jersey’s 21 counties is guaranteed at least $1 million for bridge projects. Another $4 million will be distributed later based on a review of additional funding requests.

In addition to the bridge grants, the DOT on Tuesday announced the award of $2.3 million in Local Aid Infrastructure Fund grants, including $200,000 for the resurfacing of Holly Lane in Westampton and $71,500 for the relocation of a traffic signal at Rising Sun and Hedding roads in Bordentown Township.

Both grant programs are intended to help fund local road and infrastructure projects that might be burdensome on taxpayers, according to the DOT.

Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-7th of Palmyra, said the grant for the Pompeston Creek Bridge would be welcomed by the Bridge Commission and local residents who regularly cross it.

“I could not be happier to see one of our local bridges in Burlington County getting the attention it deserves through the DOT Local Bridge, Future Needs program,” said Singleton, who also serves on the Bridge Commission. “Small bridges in the county are essential to everyday life when it comes to accessing important local areas and public transportation stops. This reconstruction will be appreciated now and for years to come by current and future Burlington County residents.”

New Jersey’s structurally deficient bridges were highlighted earlier this summer in a national report by the advocacy group Transportation for America, which found that nearly 10 percent of New Jersey’s 6,557 bridges were rated deficient, ranking the state 26th in the country.

The group urged more federal investment in bridge repairs and replacements nationwide.

In Burlington County, other structurally deficient bridges in need of significant repairs or replacement include: the Monmouth Road Bridge in Springfield, used by an average of 9,518 vehicles daily; Centerton Road Bridge in Mount Laurel, used by 14,024 vehicles daily; JFK Boulevard Bridge in Willingboro, used by 14,580 vehicles daily; and Hanover Street Bridge in Pemberton Borough, used by 15,466 vehicles daily.

Original Article