Century-old bridge in Branchburg will be replaced

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BRANCHBURG -

A century-old bridge will be replaced in Branchburg rather than repaired.

The Wooden River Road Bridge, which goes over the NJ Transit tracks in Branchburg, was shut down earlier this month for repairs, but the state says it will now stay closed until another can take its place.

The one-lane wood bridge, which was built in 1886, was a popular link between routes 22 and 202.

The Department of Transportation says its support system has deteriorated beyond repair. They say the age of the bridge, as well as heavy trucks ignoring weight limit signs, haven't helped the condition of the bridge.

A DOT spokesperson tells News 12 the replacement will be one lane only.  Many residents say they would rather see a quick repair than a replacement.

The state DOT says they are working with the town, county and New Jersey Transit to come up with a plan to replace the bridge. They say a new and improved version should be in place and open by next year.

The mayor and town administrator weren't available for interview on Thursday, but residents tell News 12 the town has been working to make the alternate routes easier for drivers since the bridge has closed.

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