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Bellmawr Browning Rd Temporary Bridge In Place. Few More Weeks Before Traffic Uses

Bellmawr Browning Rd Temporary Bridge In Place.   Few More Weeks Before Traffic Uses
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The long delayed temporary bridge structure for Bellmawr’s Browning Road overpass is now spanning across the entire roadway. The location for this roadway is next to St Joachim church in the Bellmawr Park section of town.

As part of the large Direct Connect project, the old Browning Road bridge will be rebuilt in place, and this temporary bridge was erected along side, to allow traffic and pedestrians to continue to pass during demolition and rebuilding.

Traffic is not using this bridge just yet. It will take a few weeks to fully prepare the bridge and approach ramps before the traffic and pedestrians are allowed to use it.

Browning Road Temporary Bridge

We’ve covered this bridge effort extensively. From our July 16th, 2021 post:

As part of the larger (Direct Connect) project, the Browning Road bridge over Routes 42/295 needs to be demolished and rebuilt in place. This temporary bridge is needed to handle the Browning Road traffic, pedestrians and utilities during that timeframe (which NJDOT estimates as being 18 months).

The installation was delayed for a variety of reasons, but a primary reason was that they determined additional staging space was needed on the side of the cemetery to prebuild the bridge before pushing across the roadway, and those negotiations took additional time.

I mention “push”. Yes they literally built the bridge in large segments and pushed across the highway. When we visited the site this morning, the heavy equipment bulldozer used to push the bridge span across was still in place!

Bellmawr Browning Road Temporary Bridge: The Bulldozer that moved the bridge

An NJDOT press releases describes it as such:

The first stage was completed on Friday, July 30 and moved the bridge about 100 feet over the east abutment, stopping short of Route 42 northbound travel lanes. The second stage was completed Wednesday, August 11 and extended the temporary bridge across all of Route 42 northbound to the center pier in the median and partially over the Route 42 southbound lanes.  The third stage will extend the temporary bridge across all lanes of Route 42 northbound and southbound to the west abutment. 

NJDOT 08/17/2021

The press release also goes on to say that once the bridge is across (as it is now) there are several weeks of additional work before making it available to traffic and pedestrians.

After the entire temporary bridge is installed, there will be several additional weeks of work before traffic is shifted from the existing bridge to the temporary bridge. This includes completing the approaches, installing deck panels, securing utilities, and completing the pedestrian walkway. The temporary bridge is expected to be in service in the fall.

NJDOT 08/17/2021
From the St Joachim Church parking lot, shows the bridge having reached all the way across

Direct Connect and Missing Moves Update?

It’s now been FIVE months since the shocking collapse of the main elevated bridge platform… and there are no definitive answers for the collapse.

The state has come out and said that excessive ground water played a part in the collapse. One could imagine that water collecting in the foundation would cause a slipping condition.

And yes.. several 42Freeway readers called this out from day one, in the Facebook comments. I am going to go back and look you all up for my next update!

… which I will be home on Sunday and I hope to have the time to put together another update on the two projects; Direct Connection and Missing Moves.

The sun peeks through the new temporary bridge at Browning Road Bellmawr