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Mine Road Bridge

Photos 

Oblique View Before Rehabilitation

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cjtengi/418380842/

Photo taken by Chris Tengi

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)

View this photo at farm1.staticflickr.com

BH Photo #249413

Map 

Street Views 

Description 

DOOMED - plans in late stages for replacement (trusses may be preserved as decoration).

Excellent condition except portal damage from a fallen tree.

Copied and slightly edited from 2002 update of the 1987 NJ historic bridge survey

SETTING / CONTEXT On a rural two-lane road, the one-lane bridge crosses a small stream. The bridge enjoys integrity of setting in a rural area dominated by working farms. It is located in the sparsely developed northwestern portion of the county east of busy NJ 31.

SUMMARY One of two [now the last intact] well-preserved King Iron Bridge Co. pin-connected Pratt thru trusses in Mercer County, the Mine Road bridge is three years later than Bear Tavern Road (1100060) [now lost with altered parts reused as decoration on the new Valley Road concrete slab over Moore's Creek], but is nevertheless an important example of its type. Supported on unaltered ashlar abutments, the 5-panel bridge has few visible repairs. The floor beams may not be original. It is one of four thru truss bridges in the county and ranks as the second oldest and one of the least altered.

INFORMATION Bibliography: Simmons, David A. "Bridge Building on a National Scale: The King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company." The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archaeology. Vol. 15, No. 2, 1989. Mercer County Engineers Office. Transfer File 230.3.

Physical Description: The seven panel half-hip pin-connected Pratt thru truss with a steel grate deck installed in 1976 has true hangers that twist 90 degrees out of phase and then pick up the end floor beams. The bearings rest on ashlar abutments. The inclined end posts and upper chord are built-up members composed of shallow channels with a face plate. The same dimension channels are used for the laced verticals. Diagonals (of bar stock with loop-forged eyes) and counters (rods) are fitted with turnbuckles for tuning the bridge, and the bottom chord is die-forged eyebars. The originality of the rolled I beam floor beams is not known, but it is believed that they are not original. They are cut back in section for the suspenders and large square nuts that do appear to be original. The floor beams are fitted with the original brackets for the lateral bracing. The portal struts have a lattice bracing, as does the sway bracing, and each end carries a King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Co. plaque. The lateral bracing is connected to a crimped bracket that connects at the upper panel point pins. A few welded repairs to the verticals at the panel points are visible, but otherwise the bridge is very well preserved. The modern beam guide rail is attached to the verticals by bolts.

Historical and Technological Significance: The well-preserved 102'-long pin-connected thru truss by the King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company of Cleveland, Ohio was erected in 1885, according to its plaque, and is one of two well preserved King thru trusses from the 1880s in Mercer County. The Mine Road bridge, the longer, heavier, and newer of the two, as well as its counterpart on Bear Tavern Road (1100060), are of statewide importance as early examples of a historic bridge type. They are also examples of bridges fabricated by one of the largest and most successful late-19th century manufacturers. The two Mercer County bridges are believed to be the only documented King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company in the state. Technologically they reflect early metal truss bridge construction details, such as the true floor beam hangers, the lateral bracing connections, and the prong-like floor beam connectors at the verticals. The bridge is an early and very well preserved example of its type.

The King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company was established by Zenas King in Cleveland about 1860. Learning the bridge selling business in the 1850s as a salesman representing the Moseley Bridge Company (a patented tubular bowstring), King patented his own tubular bowstring bridge that was to be the company's chief product through the 1870s, and he successfully marketed it nationally through a network of regional representatives. He published catalogues in 1875 and 1884 as well as annual reports. As the market moved away from the light bowstring truss about 1880, he diversified his product line to include the what was becoming standard thru and pony trusses. The King company was one of the largest and most prolific bridge fabricating firms in the country yet only approximately half a dozen documented examples of the firm's work survive in New Jersey. While the company remained an active, viable concern for about a decade after the founder's death in 1892, it was not a regional force in this century.

The King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company, known as the King Bridge Company after 1892, represents, in addition to period engineering and technology, the manner in which iron and early steel bridges were marketed in this country. The fabricator served as both engineer and builder. That practice was to disappear with the rise of the consulting engineer and the professionally trained county engineer in the early years of this century.

CONSULT DOCUMENTS SHPO Letter 6/30/95 HISTORIC BRIDGE MANAGEMENT PLAN ( EVALUATED ) No Page 45 A. G. Lichtenstein & Associates, Inc. performed initial survey. NJDOT updated data 03-01-2001. Correction Updates Etc should be sent to Correspondence.Unit@DOT.State.NJ.US November 12 , 2002

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Stony Brook on Mine Road
Location
Hopewell, Mercer County, New Jersey
Status
Intact but closed to all traffic
Future prospects
Tree fell on portal in 2017. Minor damage but county is trying to replace rather than repair. At severe risk of replacement or neutering (being placed on top of a concrete slab as decoration.
History
Built 1885; rehabilitated 1976; rehabilitated ~2011,portal damaged by falling tree in 2017 - closed since
Builder
- King Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio
Design
Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 101.1 ft.
Total length: 102.0 ft.
Deck width: 16.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 12.2 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.37404, -74.79390   (decimal degrees)
40°22'27" N, 74°47'38" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/517496/4469294 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Pennington
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
336
Inventory numbers
NJ 1100072 (New Jersey bridge number)
BH 25356 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 24.6 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • January 23, 2021: New photos from Art Suckewer
  • July 4, 2020: Updated by Art Suckewer: Update description with replacement plans
  • June 3, 2020: New photos from Patrick Gurwell
  • February 8, 2020: Updated by Art Suckewer: updated pin, status, street view, pics, etc.
  • January 21, 2020: Updated by Art Suckewer: Added details and history of bridge
  • August 28, 2019: New Street View added by Geoff Hubbs
  • July 2, 2018: Updated by Art Suckewer: Updated status
  • May 30, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • February 21, 2013: Photo imported by Nathan Holth

Sources 

Comments 

Mine Road Bridge
Posted January 28, 2021, by Michael Shakarjian (mshakar [at] aol [dot] com)

Good meeting yesterday. Public sentiment at the meeting was overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the bridge (in situ), at least as a pedestrian thoroughfare. Details provided by county engineers on SHPO stance and repair potential were inadequate. Town representatives should go directly to SHPO for clarification rather than rely upon disinterested engineers. Comments from a number of the public were quite valuable.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted January 26, 2021, by Michael Shakarjian (mshakar [at] aol [dot] com)

Maybe so. It chronicles the advocacy effort in saving the bridge. But it also has quite a bit of historical info on Zenas King and the King Bridge Co. I guess I'll learn how good it is as I read along. Yeah it seems that the bridge you reference in Iowa is of similar style to the Beeah Rd. Bridge.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted January 26, 2021, by Luke

I've not read it, and doesn't look like something I'd be keen on ever reading, but the bridge on the cover is https://bridgehunter.com/ny/tompkins/beech-road/

On the same topic, Instagram and a book led to the discovery of https://bridgehunter.com/ia/clayton/bh91844/

Mine Road Bridge
Posted January 26, 2021, by Michael Shakarjian (mshakar [at] aol [dot] com)

Hey, has anyone read this book, "King Bridge over Troubled Waters" by Karen Van Etten, published in 2013? It regards a King bowstring bridge near Ithaca, NY that was saved after much effort. I had heard the author interviewed way back when. I just located and bought the book.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted January 23, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Still heading in the right direction:

https://mercerme.com/public-meeting-scheduled-to-determine-f...

Public meeting scheduled to determine fate of Mine Road Bridge

Public meeting scheduled to determine fate of Mine Road Bridge

By Mary Galioto -January 23, 2021

The future of the historic Mine Road Bridge in Hopewell Township is in jeopardy. The truss bridge, straddling the Stony Brook on Mine Road off of Route 31 in Hopewell Township, suffered some damage in recent years after a storm and has since been closed to all traffic. Mercer County proposes to replace the bridge with a brand new, much wider structure. The bridge, as built, has a 4-ton load rating. The County proposes a brand new bridge with a 40-ton load capacity. Hopewell Township will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, January 27 at 5pm, to discuss the Bridge’s future.

Erected in 1885, the Mine Road Truss Bridge is one of only two iron truss bridges that remain in Hopewell Township and is the only one in its original site. Originally manufactured by the King Iron Bridge Company, the bridge served a mine, for which the bridge and road are named, which was established after one of Hopewell’s original settlers, Roger Parke, discovered a nugget of silver. While no more silver was ever found during the Colonial period, the mine resumed in the nineteenth century extracting baryta, also known as white lead, according to Hopewell: A Historical Geography by Richard Hunter and Richard Porter.

The Hopewell Township Historic Preservation Commission (HTHPC) passed a Resolution in fall 2020 requesting that the County reconsider its plans to replace the historic Mine Road Truss Bridge, based on its deep local history and designation as a Township historic landmark. The Resolution was forwarded to the Hopewell Township Committee, which scheduled the public meeting to hear from residents.

One of the HTHPC commissioners, Anita Crane said: “It is an important symbol of bygone days when Mine Road linked farms, mines, and quarries along Stony Brook. Aesthetically, it sits in a small valley surrounded by farmland and wooded area. Standing on it, you can see through the iron webbed floor to the bubbling brook below that beckons trout fishing. To move this bridge to another location would compromise the beauty of the location and its historical significance for Hopewell Township and Mercer County.”

The HTHPC proposes that the County work in conjunction with the Township to rehabilitate the Mine Road Bridge, “using it to its greatest potential while preserving it as the last iron truss bridge remaining in situ in Hopewell Township.” Specifically, the HTHPC urges the County to either (a) conduct minor repairs of the Mine Road Bridge in order to bring it to safety standards for a 4-ton load rating; or (b) close the Mine Road Bridge permanently, leaving it as a pedestrian/ bicycle trail only.

The Township Committee will hold a public meeting to discuss the alternatives and listen to the community’s preferences for the future of this bridge on Wednesday, January 27 at 5pm. The agenda and Zoom link are posted in the Agenda Center on the Township website. At this meeting, the County will present the various options it is considering. The Township Committee encourages interested community members to voice their opinions at the meeting.

Public comment will be accepted at the meeting or by contacting Laurie Gompf, the Township Clerk, at lgompf@hopewelltwp.org.

Related documents can be found here (Mercer County recommendations) and here (Hopewell Township Historic Preservation Commission Resolution.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted January 10, 2021, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

I think there is finally a glimmer of hope.

Regards,

Art S.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted January 10, 2021, by Michael Shakarjian (mshakar [at] aol [dot] com)

See link below. There's a presentation at 5 pm on January 27 by a representative from Mercer County on the status of the bridge and their proposals.

https://www.hopewelltwp.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=368

Mine Road Bridge
Posted September 23, 2020, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Nathan,

Its a county bridge and it hasn't reached Section 106 (it may not). I spoke with he bridge engineer and others within the government and SHPO. I offered to fix it for them donating my time and effort (the damage is minimal) but they aren't interested. They had recently put significant effort into it but only got a 7 ton rating so they want to get rid of it. I think its the last truss in the county system that was open to traffic. The others are not their responsibility.

Its actually a real shame because they have done a pretty good job of maintaining it.

Regards,

Art S.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted September 23, 2020, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Art,

I am not clear on what role you played in trying to save this bridge. Were you a consulting party on a Section 106 Review for this bridge? Was Section 106 Triggered for this bridge? Neither myself, (or to my knowledge other organizations such as the Historic Bridge Foundation) were invited to participate as a Section 106 Consulting Party on this project.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted September 21, 2020, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Tony,

I think neutering or neutered is a fair term, although may be insufficient. The trusses no longer do anything useful besides becoming decorative objects.

Regards,

Art S.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted September 21, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I love the term "neutering" as used in the Future Prospects category. Sadly accurate for what happens when a functioning truss bridge is grossly transformed into a decoration. Sure, it beats demolition, but is unnecessary in so many cases.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted July 4, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

DOOMED!

The county is hell bent on replacing this bridge. Plans are in late stages. Cost is no object.

Art S.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted February 9, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Tony,

So do I. I tried to resolve this quietly but to no avail. It has nothing to do with reality. Its merely the County taking advantage of an opportunity.

Its now time to make noise. Due to incompetence and arrogance, they would rather spend $1-$2 Million on a replacement than $30K-$35K on a skilled and correct repair.

Regards,

Art S.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted February 8, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I know some folks that could fix the damage in short order. I love how the county seems to think this is fatal.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted February 8, 2020, by Art Suckewer

Unfortunately, this bridge is at significant risk of replacement or being placed as decoration on top of a new concrete slab.

A tree fell on and damaged the portal bracing in 2017. The county is using this as an excuse to replace the bridge with a new bridge (possibly using the old bridge as decoration).

This is the last historic truss still in use under the care and responsibility of Mercer County. What is sad is that the damage is minor and the bridge has been very well cared for throughout its life.

Regards,

Art S.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted May 3, 2013, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Here are some pictures of Mine Road Bridge I shot this morning:

Mine Road Bridge
Posted April 24, 2013, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

The Mine Road bridge was restored in summer of 2011. It was one of very few bridges over Stony Brook that was not washed out as a result of Hurricane Irene.

Mine Road Bridge
Posted February 21, 2013, by ART S (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Nathan, Mine Road bridge looks much better now. It is a pretty shade of dark green and looks like new.

I'll try to get some pictures in the next week or two.

Regards,

Art S.