New Jersey Roads - Former NJ 158
Former NJ 158
NJ 158 was a converted railroad swing span across the Passaic River, connecting Newark to the industrial areas of Harrison. It was taken over in the 1940's, no longer used by 1966 and the bridge was removed in 1979 after being left permanently open for more than a decade. 158 was numbered as the sister to the better-fated NJ 58, which lived on to become I-280. Once the NJ 158 bridge and approaches were removed, there are but few traces that it ever existed. There are enough, though, for this page.
Looking east in Harrison. The railroad comes from the background (along NJRR Ave.) and follows the curve of the white building at left across 1st St. Originally there was a railroad spur that started two or three blocks back to the east and crossed to about where NJPAC is now, presumably dying somewhere in the industry that was once located in Newark. NJ 158 started at 2nd St. behind where the white building is now, joined that railroad spur alignent, crossed the Passaic River and NJ 21 and ended at Center St. at Park Pl.
Looking southwest from 1st St., the old bridge alignment is given away by a dual row of trees (this is the northern row). The trees are there to hide the bridge from the rest of the area, but when nothing else in industrial Harrison has trees, these are a dead giveaway.
Looking north at a cobblestoned driveway entrance into the area that would have been directly under the bridge. Because cobblestones would predate the 1960's, I think it's a fair guess that the parking lot now here existed in the shadow of the old span.
Looking west at the parking lot. No real remnants of the swing bridge visible here, besides the southern row of trees to the left. But I walked in...
...and success! The western abutment of NJ 158 is intact in parkland-to-be along NJ 21. Given the work that's been going on to restore the waterfront and beautify the McCarter Highway (21), I'm surprised this wasn't torn out, but very grateful indeed.
Over to the Newark side of the river, I approach NJ 158 from the south and look east along the stub.
Onto NJ 21
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