Monday, November 14, 2022

1931,1990,2017 Burlington-Bristol Bridge over Delaware River

(Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; 3D Satellite)

Burlington is in New Jersey, and Bristol is in Pennsylvania.

The lift span is 540.1' long. [BridgeHunter]

Street View, Aug 2019

Postcard via BridgeHunter

Construction began in Apr 1930 and it opened to traffic May 2, 1931. The lowered-span clearance at high tide is 61'. But it doesn't specify the raised-span clearance.

A ferry operated at this location since the 1700s. The raised-span clearance is 138'. The 540' span was not only the longest of its type when it was built, it exceeded the existing longest by 200'. The bridge carries 25,000 vehicles per day.
[Because the lanes are just 10' with no shoulders, this bridge is functionally obsolete. They are putting a lot of money into a functionally obsolete bridge.]
In 1971, a 6-lane, 135' high fixed bridge carrying a new I-895 highway was proposed. After a decade of debate, NJDOT and PennDOT cancelled that plan. Another plan was developed in 1988, but it was voted down in 1990. Neither community wanted to be bulldozed to benefit non-local traffic.



They replaced the operator's building as part of the rehabilitation that was completed in 2017.
1:08 video @ 0:18

Colliers Engineering
In 2020 they took advantage of the pandemic lockdown and closed the bridge for four days to replace the deck on the New Jersey viaduct.

0:32 video @ 0:24

The "thumbnail" for the above video has a better view of one of the deck segments used to quickly replace the deck.
Colliers Engineering

On the west side, the traffic is stopped at the shore rather than on the bridge.
Street View

I had trouble finding the traffic lights on the east side because they are inland quite a ways. Obviously, they want traffic stopped on terra firma. So the traffic is setting far away from the navigation channel as a ship passes by.
Street View

I wrote the above before I discovered that my concern about bridges being hit by a ship is well founded.
This bridge almost got hit. And the next bridge downstream from here, Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, did get hit in 2015. Fortunately, that ship hit the dolphin fender. So it is good that this bridge does not stop traffic on the bridge. However, the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, which has the same owner, does stop traffic on the bridge. In fact, the traffic is sets very close to the movable span as a ship passes by.
In 2015, a 600+' freighter lost propulsion as it approached the bridge. Fortunately they were able to run it into the ground rather than into the bridge. It was on its way to Tampa, FL. "Witnesses said it took tugboats 15-20 minutes Wednesday afternoon to pull the ship from the mud, point it in the correct direction, and move it downriver."

"The ship was reportedly traveling from the international port in Falls Township." [LevitTownNow]

The 33,044-ton bulk carrier Agia Irini remained in anchor Thursday near Philadelphia International Airport while the Coast Guard investigates the accident. It is one of more than 1,200 foreign ships monitored annually by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, said Petty Officer Cindy Oldham.

City of Burlington Police via LevitTownNow

This bridge survived a direct hit by a tornado that was spawned by tropical depression Ida.
0:29 video @ 0:15

Fortunately, it tested the fixed spans and not the long lift span.
0:57 video @ 0:39, paycount
Is this tweeted video the same one? (I'm not going to waste a paycount to check.) The tornado did not survive the bridge. It dissipated after hitting the trusses. 

Flickr photo of a ship going under the raised span

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