NJ-PA iron bridge celebrates 125th birthday

One of the Lincoln Highway’s most impressive bridges turns 125 years old today. New Jersey On-Line reports that the Calhoun Street Bridgethat connects Trenton, N.J., a-with Morrisville, Pa., “has not only dodged the wrecking ball but is scheduled for a major restoration next year.” The two-lane 1,274-foot-long span is the only wrought-iron bridge over the Delaware River. It is also known for having a cast-iron marker denoting the Lincoln Highway; similar ones stood at each state border.

NJ_bridge marker

The bridge was built on the original piers and abutments that were used for the first wooden span in the nontidal area of the Delaware that opened at the site in 1861. That bridge was destroyed on June 25, 1882, in one of the greatest fires the area has ever witnessed, according to historical accounts.

The privately owned Trenton City Bridge Co. announced it would replace the bridge with a wrought iron structure to be built by the Phoenix Bridge Co. of Phoenixville, Pa, the firm that also did the internal support structure for the Washington Monument in the nation’s capitol….

And after 125 years of use, engineers have determined that judging by fatigue factors; the bridge has at least another 30 years of usefulness carrying its present vehicle weight limits of 3 tons…. [An engineer] said additional factors involved in extending the usefulness of the bridge will be the restoration of the bridge’s trusses and the installation of a new flooring system consisting of high-strength galvanized steel.

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