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Paulsboro Railroad Bridge Replacement

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Built in 1917, the former structure which carried the line over Mantua Creek was a historically significant 'A-frame' swing bridge; a structure that was once common among other rail lines in the region. During the early morning hours of Friday, November 30, 2012, seven freight train cars derailed at the Paulsboro Bridge over the Mantua Creek (also known as the East Jefferson Street railroad bridge). Conrail called Modjeski and Masters (M&M) to assist with the emergency response, and later restoring safe operations of the railroad. 

Following an emergency field response and inspection, M&M worked with Conrail to reopen the formerly movable bridge as a fixed structure. This temporary fix ensured safe operation of the railroad until a more permanent movable structure could be constructed. This new structure needed to be on the same alignment and with as little interruption to rail traffic as possible. Our engineers determined that a new vertical lift bridge with a lift span length of 70’ would be the optimal design for this location. To facilitate construction and minimize railway disruption, our approach was to fabricate, assemble and test the lift span, tower and counterweight off-site while the new substructure units were installed on-site. The lift span was floated into place. The tower, counterweights and ropes were installed with the new lift span in place and rail traffic restored. M&M provided construction support throughout the construction process.

For more information, see our project documentary film on YouTube:

Bridge Geometry
Length of Main Span 70 Feet
Total Project Length 183.5 Feet
Tracks on Structure One

M&M certainly has an experienced crew that work on movable bridges and it’s unique to the railroad to have that type of talent in-house. The experience has been really good and we look forward to working with M&M again on other projects.

-Tim Tierney, PE, President and Chief Operating Officer