Route 70 temporary
bridge opens to traffic
Permanant fix ready to begin
- New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Jack
Lettiere announced this morning the opening of the temporary
bridge on Route 70 over the Friendship Creek in Southampton Township, Burlington
County. The bridge opened at approximately 3:30am Monday morning,
over two days ahead of schedule. Traffic is moving well on Route
70 and no delays are reported in the vicinity of the bridge.
“Route 70 is a vital East-West corridor through Burlington
County, and carries a significant amount of shore traffic from
the Philadelphia area. Quickly reopening Route 70 to traffic was
our top priority,” said Commissioner Lettiere. “Now
that we have a temporary structure in place to carry traffic,
we will begin work on the permanent bridge.”
The Route 70 Bridge, which carried the highway over the Friendship
Creek near Holly Boulevard in Southampton Township, Burlington
County, collapsed last Tuesday due to severe flooding in the area
following a major rainstorm.
Commissioner Lettiere immediately closed Route 70 in Southampton
and announced that a detour had been set up to divert traffic
around the collapsed bridge. In addition, Governor James E. McGreevey declared a State of Emergency in Burlington and Camden Counties
in response to widespread flooding.
NJDOT immediately called in its emergency contractor to assess
the damage and work with NJDOT personnel to determine necessary
repairs. NJDOT originally estimated that the roadway would be
closed for 7-10 days until a temporary bridge could be built and
Route 70 could be reopened to traffic.
The bridge, owned by the NJDOT, provides for one lane of eastbound
and westbound traffic, which was the existing condition on Route
70, and its completion allowed the highway to be reopened to traffic
within days of the original bridge’s collapse.
The temporary bridge, a 130-foot, 150 ton steel truss bridge,
was constructed on-site and lowered into place by two 550 ton,
hydraulic lift cranes.
Work will now begin on a permanent replacement for the original
bridge. Final design of the permanent structure is completed,
and Commissioner Lettiere stated that he expects construction
to begin as early as next week. The temporary bridge, offset by
a few feet to the south of the original structure, will remain
in place until the permanent structure can carry one lane of traffic
in each direction.