11 August 2010

Hibernia Mine Railroad Bridge

On my way with the kids to Duke Island Park a couple of weeks ago, I pulled off Old York Road to take a few photos of the Hibernia Mine Railroad Bridge.

Built in 1879 for the Hibernia Mine Railroad, and used as a railroad bridge for fifteen years, the structure has now been incorporated as part of Somerset County's Raritan River Greenway, and is in use as a pedestrian bridge over the Raritan Water Power Canal.

The bridge also received a restoration award earlier this year from the Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

The span also has a connection to Hillsborough Township history.  In 1894, The Central Railroad of New Jersey bought the bridge and moved it from Morris County to Hillsborough - but not for use by their trains.  The bridge was used to carry carriages - and eventually horseless carriages - on Mill Lane over the tracks of the CNJ's South Branch Railroad as part of a grade-separation project.

Below is a photo taken by rail enthusiast Michael Kull in the early 1980s showing the bridge in its second location at the end of Mill Lane in Hillsborough.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Greg,
    I enjoyed reading your write-up on the Hibernia bridge. One of the rare features of the bridge is the use of built-up, riveted iron columns (Phoenix Columns) as compression members.

    Would mind adding what you know about the bridge to it's page on bridgehunter: http://bridgehunter.com/nj/somerset/bh49640/
    Especially the history you described and the 1980s picture.


    Art S.