Author Topic: New Conrail bridge opens for boat traffic  (Read 407 times)

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New Conrail bridge opens for boat traffic
« on: March 31, 2016, 08:12:41 PM »
New Conrail bridge opens for boat traffic

PAULSBORO - A new rail bridge built at the site of Paulsboro's 2012 train derailment is completed and operational, the railway operator announced Thursday.

The original swing bridge, made of century-old parts, is blamed for the freight liner's derailment. The original structure was demolished by Conrail, the rail operator and bridge owner. The new lift bridge was completed March 1.

Conrail promised the bridge will open for boating season Friday, after two years of delays.

Starting April 1, the bridge will open for boat traffic but close for train passage, Conrail indicated.

It will remain open until Nov. 30 when the bridge will be in its "down" position through the winter.

"It's great to have it back open again," said Jason Lepore, a boater living on Mantua Creek in East Greenwich.

"It's unfortunate it happened in the first place and took longer than expected. ... I'm hoping it's working and stays working."

The new bridge reflects "best practices in bridge design and construction," Conrail said.

The swing bridge's locking mechanism on the original bridge failed on Nov. 30, 2012. The tracks did not line up, causing the train to jump the tracks. Several rail cars tumbled into the creek. Tankers were breached, releasing a cloud of toxic gas that rolled through Paulsboro like fog.