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Landing Lane Delaware & Raritan Canal Bridge

Photos 

Delaware And Raritan Canal Cantilever Awing Bridge, View To W

Photo taken by Rob Tucher for the Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #312236

Map 

Street View 

Description 

Interestingly, they kept this bridge when they replaced the Landing Lane Bridge (three span Pratt) across the Raritan River which is on the same road a few feet away.

The odd shape of this bridge plus its location over a canal indicates that, at one time, it may have been a drawbridge or movable span.

Facts 

Overview
Pony/through plate girder swing bridge over Delaware & Raritan Canal on Landing Lane
Location
New Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey
Status
Intact but closed to all traffic
Future prospects
Slated for demolition and replacement in 2025.
Design
Cantilevered Pony plate girder
Also called
Landing Lane - canal bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.50781, -74.46401   (decimal degrees)
40°30'28" N, 74°27'50" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/545411/4484259 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Plainfield
Inventory number
BH 65262 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

Built 1920 (1,027)
Built during 1920s (10,069)
Closed (2,723)
Delaware & Raritan Canal (11)
Doomed (1,033)
Girder (10,658)
Have street view (27,585)
Middlesex County, New Jersey (93)
Movable (3,047)
New Brunswick, New Jersey (13)
New Jersey (1,637)
Painted blue (76)
Plate girder (8,287)
Swing (1,506)
Through girder (3,984)

Update Log 

  • September 6, 2021: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • August 29, 2021: Updated by Art Suckewer: changed status to closed
  • August 25, 2021: Updated by Nathan Holth: Noted this is a swing bridge and listed demolition plans.
  • May 7, 2021: Updated by Art Suckewer: added build date
  • May 26, 2020: Updated by Art Suckewer: build date, builder and swing function
  • January 4, 2015: New Street View added by Dave King
  • January 4, 2015: Updated by Art Suckewer: Added a name (there are about 50 D&R Canal bridges so the road name is usually listed in the bridge name.

Sources 

Comments 

Landing Lane Delaware & Raritan Canal Bridge
Posted August 29, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Unfortunately, the canal bridge (installed by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1920 and one of the last original swing bridges over the canal from when it was in use by boats and barges for transport - mentioned in the HAER entry for the old Landing Lane bridge: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/nj1252/ ) is being modified to oblivion then replaced.

Removing, restoring and relocating it elsewhere along the canal as a as a pedestrian and emergency vehicle access and teaching tool would have been a reasonable solution for both historic preservation and eliminating a traffic hazard/bottleneck. The swing mechanism, although out of use for almost a century is restorable - being able to demonstrate a working swing bridge to schoolchildren without impeding traffic would be of great benefit in teaching the canal's history.

Although doing so could be done cost competitively to a standard pedestrian canal crossing, would preserve the historic fabric and would eliminate a danger to motorists, destruction seems to be the chosen path forward.

Moving the bridge elsewhere along the canal was deemed to have a negative impact to the historic fabric of the canal greater than the negative impact from the obliteration of the historic bridge. This is because putting a vehicular bridge where one didn't exist 'back in the day' may confuse the public regarding the canal's history. Also, one of the three controlling agencies of the canal/park was concerned, among other things, with increased long term maintenance from adding a crossing.

Personally, I would have thought it would have been a great addition. Either as access for an underserved section of the canal or as access to another park e.g. Colonial Park (Somerset County's park has wonderful facilities) or Moores Station along the feeder in Hopewell (just north of Washington Crossing State Park, Mercer County is expanding the Ted Stiles/Baldpate preserve at Moores Station adjacent the feeder canal).

As this canal bridge is the approach to the river bridge, work on it closes the Landing Lane bridge over the river as well. Craning the swing bridge off and putting in a modern prefab truss (even a temporary one) would get things open faster.

Too bad.

sincerely,

Art S.

Deleware & Raritan Canal Bridge
Posted January 5, 2015, by Dave King (DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com)

The photo of the A-frame draw is dated ca. 1894 so this bridge had to be built after that.

Deleware & Raritan Canal Bridge
Posted January 4, 2015, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

David,

Your first post shows the present bridge. The A-frame in the second post is long gone, being replaced by the present bridge. Based on appearances, I would guess that the present bridge swings to the side. As the canal stopped operating in 1932, the bridge must predate that.

On a side note, the railroad swing bridge over the D&R canal in Princeton strongly resembles the 1879 bridge shown in the picture above the A-frame picture in the link of your second post (the center of the Princeton bridge is on rollers with a geared mechanism).

Regards,

Art S.

Deleware & Raritan Canal Bridge
Posted January 4, 2015, by Dave King (DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com)
Deleware & Raritan Canal Bridge
Posted January 4, 2015, by Dave King (DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com)

According to the photo here: http://www.americancanals.org/photo_gallery/D%20&%20R%20Phot...

The bridge still has motor and gears but no power.