New Jersey Roads - NJ 163

NJ 163

NJ 163 is former US 46 where it crossed from Delaware, NJ. Once the upstream Portland-Columbia Bridge now carrying NJ 94 was built, this one was dismantled, leaving a concrete stub route with the EB-NB exit ramp still intact and an abutment on the west side of current US 46. Back when 46 crossed here, it was NJ 6, and 6 continued eastward all the way through New Jersey. NJ 8, now NJ 94, started here and went north, and that is why for the last three miles of US 46, the original bridges have STATE HIGHWAY ROUTE 8 stamped into the side, even though US 46 was never Route 8.

Straight ahead eastward from old (with original concrete!) to new.

Heading west down the alignment. You can just about see the house in the first two photos; I don't think anyone lives there anymore, but it would be cool to be the only person living on NJ 163. As you can see, and will see more of in a moment, NJ 163 is a convenient truck parking lot now.

Looking east from about the halfway point.

The EB and WB faces of the only state highway relic on the route. SHR 5 stretched across the state to Newark, and part of it later became SHR 5N (now NJ 53). This bridge crosses Delawanna Creek.

Deep in the forested background of the southern view from that bridge is another bridge that carried either a side street or a driveway but now only carries some very prickly undergrowth.

Equally deep in the background to the north is yet a third bridge. This one is the route of the railroad that once crossed the Delaware next to US 46.

The north side of the railroad bridge features the original stonework.

Since the railroad stayed in service many years after Darlington's Bridge disappeared, it's no surprise to still find ties embedded in the old grade.

I can see a roadmeet from the railroad!

The road ends abruptly at Hemlock Hill Ln.; the concrete was dug up from here on westward, bridge removed across US 46, and fences put up to prohibit trespassers. I don't know why the old alignment of NJ 163 is a particular security concern, unless it has to do with the railroad crossing that's abandoned itself. This would make a nice trail someday.

Looking south toward 46 on the one extant ramp, the tight and steep EB-NB loop. Even the bridge on US 46 looks quite old, but I know it's not as old as 1924.

Looking north toward 163 at the same place.

One look at the abutment (minus any concrete) on the west side of US 46.

The railroad-only Delaware Bridge now without NJ 163 or US 46 next to it.

Your viewing bonus is pre-removal photos of the 1932 railroad overpass of US 46 and looking west on the old NJ 163 overpass/bridge approach, from summer 1979 courtesy Myles Putman.

Onto US 46
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