A two-month long lane reduction will start this weekend for Route 130 Over Big Timber Creek, as work starts on the rebuild of the almost 100 yr-old bridge.
This is the bridge connecting Westville with the Brooklawn Circle (West), closest to Verchio’s. This is also widely used for people looking to access 295 South.
Adding to this project, the other bridge at the circles for Route 47 heading into Westville (Brooklawn Circle East, closest to the bowling alley), goes out for contractor bid this month.
These are multiple year projects and officials have said that at times BOTH bridges will be under reconstruction, with adjusted or reduced lane movements at various times.
For now this article will focus on the current new bridge rebuild project… Route 130 Over Big Timber Creek.
Keep scrolling and reading for more and if you are on Facebook don’t forget to join the group “Is the Brooklawn Circle Flooded”?
Route 130 Over Big Timber Creek – Demo and Reductions
NJDOT announced today that this Saturday (May 6) crews will be setting up barriers across the Rt 130 bridge span at Big Timber Creek, to reduce traffic to one lane in each direction.
This reduction in lanes for this phase is expected to last for two months.
This project has been broken out into 10 different stages, and the goal of this early stage is to remove the median barrier and concrete islands.
I have not seen a breakdown of the stages, but I imagine the bridge will be rebuilt in halves, and the removal of the center barriers and islands is so that in the future traffic for both directions can be directed to one half of the bridge.
So keep in mind this $54 million project has a long way to go… The expected completion date is five years out, in the spring of 2028!
Aspects of this Route 130 Bridge project are targeted at improving flooding conditions at the Brooklawn circle.
A few weeks ago contractors were on site at the West Brooklawn Circle and demolished a warehouse building which sat on a large property along the railroad tracks. The area where that building an extended property lie is targeted as a large water management basin.
Route 130 Bridge Over Big Timber Creek – Rebuild
The current Route 130 bridge supports 24,000 vehicles per day and the original portion of it was developed in 1928! Almost 100 years ago!
Several times during its lifespan, improvements were done to the bridge including the 1930s and a much larger rehabilitation and widening in 1983.
Bridge inspection reports from 2011 and 2013 identified the superstructure as fair and the substructure as poor. This put the bridge in engineer’s and NJDOT’s radar to be rebuilt.
The existing bridge is 287 feet long and 72 feet wide. The new bridge will be slightly longer at 325 feet and wider at 91 feet.
The almost 20 feet extra width should allow lanes and sidewalks to be developed supporting a better traffic flow.
This project will include a full rebuild of the column support structures which go into the creek. Contractors will need to implement temporary cofferdams, which are like giant cups in the water and are drained, so the new support columns can be dug into the ground and concrete poured
As mentioned, the larger open area that runs along the railroad tracks near the circle where the warehouse building was recently demolished… is planned to be a large water retention basin.
It will include retaining walls to maintain the base and structure at several areas, such as closer to the train tracks and roadway.
Additional retaining walls for the raised approach structure will be located on the Delaware River side, to minimize environmental impacts on the wetland areas.
West Brooklawn Circle Flooding Components
South Jersey Observer has been following this project a lot more closely than I have and has a really nice write up back in January of 2021 on the project specifics.
I’ve also acquired many of the NJDOT documents for the project, and have reviewed them for my article here.
Overall there’s doesn’t seem to be anything too fancy with the rebuild of this project but some specific details are harder to decipher. The bridge will be built all new, with modern construction technologies. It will follow the same path as before but wider. The open span across the creek will also be wider (for boat traffic underneath)
In an effort to help alleviate flooding on the West Brooklawn Circle (Verchio’s), a large basin is being developed on that plot of land where the small warehouse building was located.
Design documents from NJDOT show that basically that entire space is going to be one large basin.
I haven’t spoken to any of the engineers on this project to get a better understanding of how flood management plan this works, if there’s anything “extra fancy” about it.
But right now looking at the site diagrams it appears to just be a large basin to capture extra water (fed from water grates at the circle), with the expectation it will have enough capacity to keep water from rising and flooding at the circle.
I’m going to ask NJDOT for more details on this.
I fully agree that if the flooding is from excessive rainwater that collects in the circle area, that a large basin could likely take care of that trapped water and move it out of the circle area.
But if a “flooding episode” is due to the Delaware River rising up higher than the banks… well I’m just trying to understand if the basin will have any real postive impact on that.
It would be interesting to know if they track the different instances of flooding over the years, and have identified what percentages were rain water only, and what percentages where from the Delaware River rising too high.
More Traffic Challenges To Come
Clearly the Brooklawn Circles are a key traffic intersection for the area.
Problems in the area such as accidents or flooding have a wide and significant impact on the flow of traffic for a much broader area. Some negative impact on traffic movement should be expected.
But keep in mind that this is only an early step of 10, in a five year plan. After this phase is done there’s likely to be additional lane restrictions and adjustments.
Then we have the Route 47 Bridge Over Big Timber Creek rebuild coming not too far off in the future, with both projects “in-play” at the same time.
And more fun is likely to come soon for Route 42, related to the “Bridge Over Blackwood Trail” project in Gloucester Township. I hope to have an update on that very soon.
And more videos will be coming soon!
Links and Location
Rt 130 Bridge Rebuild Over Big Timber Creek
Brooklawn and Westville NJ