Residents concerned about weak rail bridge in Bergen County

Bergen County residents say they are concerned about a rail bridge over the Oradell Reservoir because it may fail.

Bergen County residents say they are concerned about a rail bridge over the Oradell Reservoir because it may fail. (6/4/15)

BERGEN COUNTY - Residents in Bergen County are concerned about a rail-bridge that carries oil tanker cars over the Oradell Reservoir.

Every day, dozens of freight trains travel through Harrington Park and many of them are carrying crude oil. While traveling through the town, trains must cross a 25-feet long bridge across the reservoir that services over 800,000 people.

A federal inspection in March of the 80-year-old bridge found that the bridge's "timber show deterioration." CSX, the owners of the bridge, told their engineers to reduce train speeds at the time.

However, residents are concerned that if the bridge should fail, trains could fall into the reservoir, contaminating the water supply for thousands of residents.

United Water, which owns the reservoir, says it just recently found out the bridge was deteriorating.

Rob Doolittle, a spokesman for the train company, says the rail infrastructure is safe.

"We invest more than $2.5 billion annually to maintain our infrastructure and to ensure our tracks, bridges and signals are safe as they can be," he says.

United Water has met with CSX, which plans to replace the weakening bridge deck by the end of the year.

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