Trenton, N.J. –Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today held a groundbreaking event to launch the rehabilitation of the Jackson Street Bridge, which currently connects Mill Hill Park with the Mill Hill neighborhood.
“We are proud to partner with the state on this important rehabilitation project,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Jackson Street Bridge was part of the Mill Hill Historic District’s entry into the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, and our shared investment will keep this iconic Trenton landmark functional for decades to come.”
The N.J. Historic Trust provided $324,793 for renovations made to the Jackson Street Bridge, with the City of Trenton contributing $557,207 to close the funding gap for the program. In total, the project, which is expected to last between two to three months, costs $882,000.
“Trenton residents, but especially those involved with the Old Mill Hill Society and those who live in Mill Hill, see this bridge every day,” said North Ward City Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson. “Promoting the arts and culture, preserving historical sites, and running programming for our residents to enjoy is all part of our commitment to community development.”
The N.J. Historic Trust, housed within the N.J. Department of Community Affairs, provided the Administration with $534,000 in 2018 for the completion of renovations to Douglass House, the headquarters of General George Washington during the Revolutionary War and to the Jackson Street Bridge. In particular, the Trust provided funding through the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund, which has awarded $137 million in capital grants since 1990 to assist in preserving projects across New Jersey.
“On behalf of the Trust, we are proud to have supported the restoration of the Jackson Street Bridge,” said Dorothy Guzzo, Executive Director of the N.J. Historic Trust. “Maintaining the bridge and protecting the character of the Capital City historic sites can also signal economic development.”
Included in the project costs are repairs to the bridge’s walls, resurfacing the deck of the bridge, and repainting the metal beams. The triangular sloping beams, also referred to as trusses, are a product of the Jackson Street Bridge’s unique Pratt truss design. Around the country, the few Pratt truss bridges that remain are often used by vehicles and freight trains and are slowly being decommissioned due to the cost of maintaining them for non-pedestrian usage.
“Day to day, our focus is on improving residents’ quality of life, expanding employment opportunities, and serving our youth and seniors, all while preserving the culture and the history of the Capital City,” said Sam T. Frisby, Mercer County Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of Trenton. “As former Director of Recreation for the City of Trenton, it is intergovernmental collaboration like this that reduces the cost to Trenton residents and allows important restorations to occur.”
As project maintenance continues until November, a large covering will serve to protect the Assunpink Creek and the surrounding area while new concrete is poured, and the deck is surfaced with bituminous concrete.
“The New Jersey Steel and Iron Company fabricated the iron parts for this bridge in 1888. After 132 years of usage, this familiar site to Trentonians will finally be revitalized,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Community leaders and residents have called for this project’s completion since 2013, and we’re happy that the city can finally make it happen.”