New Jersey Roads - Old NJ 31

Old NJ 31

Heading south on the dead end of Main St., Glen Gardner, past some historic houses to an abrupt ending. This is not the best way to end a road. Guiderail isn't meant to be hit from behind. There should be a positive barrier on this side, and certainly something reflective for night drivers, because, you know, dying sucks.

I stepped into the woods for this photo of the old NJ 31 bridge over Spruce Run, and what looks like even older abutments just west.

Continuing north into the heart of Glen Gardner, the 1870 School Street Bridge is just to my left across the same Spruce Run. Let's get a Spruced up Run of photos going.

Looking west toward modern NJ 31 on the road, then looking east on the sidewalk. I would think this is one of those cases where the sidewalk was added later, because in 1870, there wasn't any motorized traffic to separate other modes from.

Visiting the southern side of the bridge in some detail and ascertaining the date. There are still a couple of other similar bridges in NJ.

What I haven't seen on any other bridge is this method of writing the bridge plaque information onto the top beam. No plaque to fall or be pried off. Maybe they're onto something.

Main St. SB leaving NJ 31. I wonder what it said before 25 MPH, and how old the base sign is.

North of Hampton, a stub roadway reaches north from Imlaydale Rd. and merges back into the NJ 31 mainline. Actually, that's not accurate; the original road here went straight across NJ 31 then curved back through what's now private property. Most of that alignment has been obliterated until its end at Asbury-Anderson Rd. When you realize that this is a straight line up from Main St., though, you may want to pull off to the side and see what else could be along that line.

At first glance, the answer is "brambles." With good zoom and patience to find the right angle, you are rewarded with the second photo. That... is a road.

There's really nowhere to see this old bridge from the side except from current NJ 31, so be prepared to do some shoulder walking. This is the old NJ 31 bridge over the Musconetcong River into Warren County. It's of similar design to the Spruce Run bridge farther up this page, but no longer serves a function of any use. (To be fair, that one could close tomorrow and wouldn't impact mobility in any significant way, but at least people live on both sides of that one.) I'll close with a little hint and a teaser for future photos: the south end of this bridge is right by a gas station. Not that it's any easier to scramble through those brambles, but just maybe a little less visible when you try.

Mercer CR 640, old NJ 31 in Pennington
Woodsville Rd./CR 612, old NJ 31
Modern NJ 31

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