Newton-Sparta Rd. Railroad Overpass Comes Down
Andover Township--The railroad overpass which has
plagued traffic on the Newton-Sparta Road just outside of Newton
for about 60 years, today (Thursday) becomes a thing of the past.
The overhead steel girders which supported tracks of the Erie Lackawanna
Railroad were scheduled to be removed this morning, presaging eventual
elimination of the concrete abutments which forces traffic into
a sharp right angle turn.
Calman J. Ambrosy, Jr., Sussex County engineer,
announced on Wednesday that negotiations had been completed to remove
the overpass on the abandoned Erie Lackawanna Railroad line to Newton
ahead of schedule to clear the way for truck traffic during reconstruction
of Yates Avenue.
Contracts for the Yates Avenue reconstruction were
recently awarded by the Andover Township Committee and work is expected
to begin on Monday. Because of the scant 11-foot clearance under
the overpass, Yates Avenue has been the truck by-pass from the Newton-Sparta
Road for traffic into Newton for many years.
The successful completion of negotiations for the
removal of the overpass was the result of a cooperative effort between
Mayor H. Grant Leonard of Andover Township and Ambrosy.
The county engineer agreed to work with the township
in attempting to arrange for the overpass removal before work began
on the Yates Avenue project because truck traffic entering Newton
from the Newton-Sparta Road, which is a county road, was forced
to use Yates Avenue, a township road, as a by-pass.
Work on the project to remove the huge overpass
was scheduled to begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. today after the
heavy morning traffic has passed the area. The wok to be done by
Salmon Brothers, Inc., of Netcong, as a sub-contractor to Hyman
Michaels Salvage Company of Chicago, is expected to take approximately
Ambrosy, through whose efforts final arrangements
were completed, said that only the overhead bridge will be removed
at this time. Complete plans call for the later elimination of the
concrete abutments on both sides of the road and a cutting back
of the remaining area.
According to Ambrosy, Salmon Brothers, working
directly for Michaels, who has contracted for the removal of all
and bridges of the abandoned railroad line from Andover Junction
to Branchville, will use a huge crawler crane to remove the girders.
Ambrosy said preparatory work for the removal was
to be done on Wednesday by the Michaels company. This includes all
cutting and unbolting so that when Salmon Brothers move in on Thursday
morning they can lift off the unbolted 36-feet long beams. Ambrosy
said the two main girders spanning the road weigh seven tons each.
To Barricade Road
County Highway employees and state police will
set up barricades on each side of the bridge during the removal
and all traffic will be diverted over Yates Avenue to Stickle Pond
Road and right on Stickle Pond Road back to Sparta Avenue on the
other side of the overpass for traffic coming into Newton and the
reverse for traffic using the Newton-Sparta Road out of Newton.
Mayor Leonard issued an urgent plea to residents
of Yates Avenue to avoid parking on the street this morning when
all traffic will be diverted from the Newton-Sparta Road through
Yates Avenue while the overpass girders are being removed.