Raritan Bay Drawbridge

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Raritan Bay Drawbridge
Raritan Bay Bridge.jpg
In the open position in early summer 2011
Carries New York and Long Branch (to 1976)
North Jersey Coast Line
Crosses Raritan River
Locale The Amboys, New Jersey
Other name(s) River Draw
Owner New Jersey Transit
ID number NJT 400
Design Swing bridge
Longest span 331 feet (101 m)[1]
No. of spans 30[1]
Constructed by Pennsylvania Steel Company
McCullen and McDermott[2]
Construction end 1908[1]
River Draw is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
River Draw
River Draw
At the gateway to the Raritan Bayshore

The Raritan Bay Drawbridge, also known as River Draw, Raritan Bay Swing Bridge, and Raritan River Railroad Bridge, is a railroad swing bridge crossing the Raritan River a half mile from where in empties into the Raritan Bay in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. It connects Perth Amboy to the north and South Amboy to the south.[3]


The bridge was built in 1908 to a replace one that had been built at the crossing in 1875 to serve the New York and Long Branch Railroad, jointly operated by the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) and Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR).[1] Soon after its construction the bridge wad damaged in a severe winter storm. [4]The bridge has been owned by several different parties since the CNJ/PRR era: Penn Central (1968–1971), the New Jersey Department of Transportation (to 1983), and New Jersey Transit (NJT).


The bridge is used by NJT commuter rail on its North Jersey Coast Line and for Conrail-Norfolk Southern rail freight operations. Federal regulations require the bridge to be open on signal except during rush hour or when a train has passed the home signal for it.[3]


The drawbridge was scheduled to be replaced after suffering structural damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The bridge was overwashed by the storm surge, struck by two tugboats, and had to be realigned before low-speed service could resume a month later. A $446 million federal grant, announced in 2014, will fund construction of a new bridge, which is expected to take 4–5 years while trains continue using the existing bridge.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "New Raritan Bridge Opens for Travel", The New York Times, April 22, 1908, retrieved 2012-08-15 
  2. ^ "Dynamiters Wreck New Railway Bridge", The New York Times, March 26, 1908, retrieved 2012-08-15 
  3. ^ a b "§ 117.747 Raritan River". US Code of Regulations. July 1, 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-15. § 117.747Raritan River. (a) The draw of New Jersey Transit Rail Operations Railroad Bridge at mile 0.5 shall open on signal; except that, from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays, the bridge need not open. (b) The bridge owner shall provide and keep in good legible condition two clearance gauges with figures not less than 12 inches high designed, installed and maintained according to the provisions of § 118.160 of this chapter. (c) Trains and locomotives shall be controlled so that any delay in opening the draw span shall not exceed ten minutes. However, if a train moving toward the bridge has crossed the home signal for the bridge before the signal requesting opening of the bridge is given, the train may continue across the bridge and must clear the bridge interlocks before the bridge may be opened. 
  4. ^ https://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9C07E7DD1730E733A25755C0A9679C946596D6CF
  5. ^ Higgs, Larry (September 19, 2014). "NJ Transit Raritan River bridge is Sandy's latest casualty". NJ Advance Media. Retrieved 2015-03-05. 
  6. ^ http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/transportation/2017/02/08/nj-transit-pushes-ahead-plans-replace-sandy-damaged-bridge/97649488/

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°29′46″N 74°16′52″W / 40.496°N 74.281°W / 40.496; -74.281