Completed in 1930 to connect Kearny and New Jersey City, N.J., the original Whittpen Bridge (pictured on the right) is the oldest vertical lift bridge still in operation in America.
Crossing the Hackensack River, the original Whittpen Bridge is 2169 feet long; 40 feet wide, with a lift span of 209 ft. It has an elevation of 35 feet above the water.
Reconstruction of the Whittpen Bridge began in July of 2016, and is expected to be completed in 2021. The new bridge will have two 12’ travel lanes in each direction with an additional 12’ wide “auxiliary” lane for emergency vehicles. In addition 8 foot shoulders will be provided in each direction. The new bridge, although a lift span, will be twice as high when in place at 70 feet above the water. This is expected to reduce the bridge openings for water traffic by two thirds.
Due to the poor soil conditions on the Kearny (west) side of the site, Solite® geofill was chosen for placement as the sub-base material under the main off and on ramps from the new bridge.
Both drainage and surcharge soil loading were the major considerations for incorporating Solite® lightweight geofill material into the project.