STOCKTON BOROUGH, NJ (Hunterdon County) – A series of traffic stoppages are scheduled to be implemented during early-morning hours on July 14 at the Centre Bridge-Stockton Toll-Supported Bridge between Solebury Township, PA and Stockton Borough, NJ, according to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission
Traffic in both directions will be stopped for up to 15-minute intervals on multiple occasions so load tests can be conducted to calibrate a series of wireless sensors that were recently installed at various locations on the bridge.
Load testing is scheduled to take place 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 14 and in the event of rain, the overnight work would be rescheduled for the same hours on Friday, July 15.
Commission maintenance personnel will maneuver dump trucks with varied loads of de-icing materials onto and off the bridge during respective traffic-stoppage periods. Motorist impacts are expected to be minimal; traffic volumes are exceedingly low during early-morning hours.
Once calibrated and made operational, the sensors will enable the Commission to determine when and if overweight vehicles cross the bridge. The devices also would help engineers to log and assess how the bridge carries and distributes loads and how excessive loads affect the bridge’s structural integrity. Among other things, the wireless sensors can detect strain, displacement of steel members, and weakness caused by corrosion.
The work is being conducted as part of a Structural Health Monitoring Pilot Program that ultimately aims to improve the safety and maintainability of the Commission’s inventory of aging weight-restricted bridges.
The Centre Bridge-Stockton Bridge will be the first Commission river crossing to be permanently outfitted with the wireless sensors, a selection based on the fact that the bridge has different-sized spans and components representative of many other weight-restricted bridges in the Commission’s system. The long-term plan is to extend remote structural monitoring to the other weight-restricted bridges based on the performance of the initial sensors at Centre Bridge-Stockton.