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Mt. Joy Road Bridge

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talk about your "small towns"

North portal view. Bridge is within feet of a mill, miller's house, tavern, etc., all early 19th century buildings.

Photo taken by Andrew Pearce in September 2012

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Description 

"The bridge carries one lane of a narrow street over the Musconetcong River, the border between Hunterdon and Warren Counties. The street is in the center of the well-preserved 19th-century village of Finesville which has National Register-historic district potential. The bridge contributes to the historic character of that potential district. The bridge is a few feet downstream from a mill dam. The mill, now converted to housing, remains."

"The eight-panel full hip Pratt thru-truss bridge has a plaque located at the center of the portals identifying the builder and the Hunterdon County Bridge Committee members. The pin-connected bridge is supported upon stone abutments with retaining walls. The top chords and inclined end posts are box members composed of shallow toe-out channels and cover plates with battens. The bottom chord consists of stamped eyebars, to which reinforcing plates have been welded at the panel points. The vertical members are composed of angles with lacing. The portal braces are also composed of angles with lattice. All but the first interior floor beams are hung from U-bolts. The floor beam hangers are forged loop eye bars that have been reinforced by the addition of bars welded to the top chord and the panel point reinforcing plate. Knee braces have been added at lateral struts and portals. Channel end diagonal braces have been added, and cover plates have been welded to the end posts. According to county records, the corrugated steel deck with asphalt overlay was installed in 1958. Some elements are stamped "Passaic R.M. Co.". HISTORICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The date of construction of the 8-panel pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge is not documented, but stylistically it appears to be circa 1890. The fairly well preserved bridge is the only known example of the work of G.M. Rusling, a New Jersey fabricator. In addition to being a good example of an important bridge type and the work of a local fabricator, the bridge is located in the village of Mount Joy, a potential National Register Historic District. It is a contributing resource in that potential historic district. The first house was reportedly erected in 1829 in what was a saw mill and iron ore mining area. The village preserves its historic, 19th- and early-20th century character. The mill dam is located a few feet upstream from the bridge. Although some alterations are present, they are predominantly non-intrusive in nature and the bridge retains its integrity of design.

Boundary Description and Justification: The bridge is individually distinguished, but it is also located in a potential historic district that appears to include resources on both side of the river. Thus both ends of the bridge are within the potential historic district. The bridge and its surroundings are evaluated as significant."

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Musconetcong River on Mt. Joy Road
Location
Finesville, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and Warren County, New Jersey
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1900; rehabilitated 1981
Builder
- G. M. Rusling
Design
Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 102.0 ft.
Total length: 106.0 ft.
Deck width: 15.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 11.6 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.60556, -75.17056   (decimal degrees)
40°36'20" N, 75°10'14" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/485570/4494985 (zone/easting/northing)
USGS topographic map
Riegelsville
Inventory numbers
NJ 10XXH64 (New Jersey bridge number)
BH 25287 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 08/2011)
Deck condition rating: Excellent (9 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 66.2 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2011)
612

Update Log 

  • September 6, 2012: Updated by Andrew Pearce: Added category "Pin-connected"

Sources