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Cider Mill Road Bridge

Photos 

portal view from the southern, Welisewitz Rd end. The bridge is about 60 yards from the corner, maybe less.

Photo taken by Andrew Pearce in September 2012

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BH Photo #238608

Map 

Description 

"The single span single lane thru truss bridge carries Cider Mill Road (Reaville-Clover Hill, CR 29) over the Neshanic River. It is located in a pastoral setting of open fields, farm buildings, corn fields and scattered trees. It carries a lightly traveled country road." "The 6-panel Pratt thru truss bridge is pin connected. The connections were reinforced with welded plates in 1976. It is supported on random ashlar abutments and wingwalls. Other alterations include reinforcements on floorbeams, top struts and knee braces, added diagonal end posts, metal pan deck and guiderail. One of ten Pratt thru-truss bridges in the county, the many alterations have compromised the design integrity and historical significance of the bridge."

Compromised integrity? Compared to some, perhaps 

Written by Andrew Pearce

"One of ten Pratt thru-truss bridges in the county, the many alterations have compromised the design integrity and historical significance of the bridge."

So says the county's 1992 report. Well, compared to some in 100% original condition, perhaps I can agree with that statement. On the other hand, compared to the growing number of "roadside museum" trusses that are no more than hood ornaments now perched on concrete slabs I am seeing around the county, I'm more than happy to cut the Cider Mill Road bridge a large amount of slack. It is STILL an actual functioning truss bridge. It has not been widened or turned into something it never was supposed to be.

The load is limited to 10 tons, which is probably about what a country bridge this size was meant to carry. 4 upper corner plates have been welded on to this old pinned Pratt, and a double set of bottom chords and pin plates welded in too. 2 of the top struts are welded replacements, whereas the originals are riveted together from flat stock, which is unusual for a 1900 bridge; you'd think the foundry could have at least supplied T or L section channel. The end posts have hip diagonals welded on, and the bridge now has welded hip verticals. There is no portal bracing, but all the verticals have knee braces along the top. There is no portal decoration nor any signs that there may have been some. No lacing anywhere. Railings are newer of course.

So no, it really isn't all that original; it's what happens to a working bridge after 110+ years. It's a survivor. As far as I can tell the floor beams are the originals, and the square section hangers for them are as well. Furthermore, I think this bridge is iron, not steel, and is perhaps a bit older than the county thinks it is. 1885 - 1890 perhaps?

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Neshanic River on Cider Mill Road
Location
Hunterdon County, New Jersey
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1900
Design
Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 82.0 ft.
Total length: 85.0 ft.
Deck width: 14.8 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 10.5 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.46583, -74.79250   (decimal degrees)
40°27'57" N, 74°47'33" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/517591/4479482 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Hopewell
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
200
Inventory numbers
NJ 10XX233 (New Jersey bridge number)
BH 25252 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of July 2015)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 36.3 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • September 4, 2012: Essay added by Andrew Pearce