BOGOTA - A North Jersey bridge has been shut down for emergency repairs after county engineers determined it was unsafe for drivers.
The 120-year-old Midtown Bridge, which spans the Hackensack River in Bogota, is undergoing a complete overhaul.
Bogota City Council President Tito Jackson noticed parts of the decking sticking up on either side of the bridge that could cause tire damage. "It could cause an accident," says Jackson. "That's why the bridge was shut down on both ends."
The bridge was built in 1894. The steel decking was laid down in the 1930s or ‘40s, when the bridge was converted for cars and trucks. Jackson doesn't think the decking has been replaced since.
Drivers tell News 12 New Jersey that they have noticed the decay. "The paint is chipping," driver Leah Toutounjian says. "The brick on the side is coming apart."
Traffic is now being diverted to other area bridges. Officials say the Midtown Bridge will be closed for at least 10 days as crews make repairs and engineers inspect the entire span.
Jackson says safety is the number one priority. "We're going to make sure the bridge is in 100 percent working order before it's reopened," he says.
Just over a year ago, another Hackensack River bridge, the Anderson Street Bridge, was reduced from four lanes to two, and trucks and buses were banned when it was graded "marginal" by state officials.