The bridge that carries Province Line Road over Stony Brook was reopened to non-vehicular traffic on Nov. 16 following the completion of rehabilitation work, the Mercer County administration announced earlier his week.
The bridge - located between Pretty Brook Road in Princeton Township and Rosedale Road in Lawrence Township - has been closed to vehicular traffic since 1981 but has been widely used by pedestrians and bicyclists.
The original bridge was built in 1903 and was deemed "structurally deficient" when closed to traffic in 1981.
The rehabilitation work, started by the county in June 2012, included removal and replacement of the timber wood deck, removal and replacement of the stringers, repair and re-pointing of the substructure, rehabilitation of the wing wall, painting of the trusses and floor beams, rehabilitation of the steel trusses, overlay of asphalt at the approaches, and the installation of approach guiderail and bollards.
The bridge is 14-feet wide between trusses; its overall length is 139 feet, 6 inches.
During the late afternoon of July 25, a fire ate away many of the wooden beams that formed the decking of the middle of the bridge’s three spans.
Investigators later determined that the blaze was caused by an errant spark from a worker’s torch that smoldered unnoticed along the underside of the wooden decking and intensified after the county’s work crew left for the day.
The entire rehabilitation project was funded by Mercer County and completed by the Mercer County Bridge Division.