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Jackson Street Bridge

Jackson Street Bridge

The Jackson Street Bridge carries Jackson Street over the Passaic River in Newark, New Jersey.


The Jackson Street Bridge, proposed to connect Newark to suburban Harrison, was designed under the direction of the Essex and Hudson County Engineering Department and constructed by the Fagan Iron Works of Hoboken, New Jersey in 1897-98. 1 It opened on April 11, 1898. The project was supervised by Chief Engineers James Owen of Essex County and Thomas McBarn of Hudson County.

The structural condition of the Jackson Street Bridge had long been a concern. 3 Governor William T. Cahill signed a bill in March 1973 giving Essex and Hudson counties $2.4 million to repair the Jackson, Clay, and Bridge Street crossings. Renovations on the Jackson Street span began in 1974.

The swing span was originally driven by a two pinion powered system operated on a rack on top of the center pier and connected by shafts and gear trains to the machinery located in the control house above the roadway. 1 The span was rotated by a vertical two-cylinder steam engine. In May, the steam engines were converted to air engines by replacing the coal-fired boilers with a gasoline-powered air compressor and five compressed air receiver tanks. In February 1975, the gasoline-powered air compressor was converted to operate on propane gas since gasoline deliveries could not reach the bridge because of its deteriorated condition.

Owing to its poor structural condition, the Jackson Street Bridge was closed to all traffic in 1987. In July, Essex and Hudson counties received $3.6 million towards a future rehabilitation of the crossing. 4 Work on reopening the bridge began in 1991 and included strengthening the truss lower chord and diagonals, and replacing the drum girder, wheel assembly, floor beams, and the entire operating mechanism. 2



  • State: New Jersey
  • Route: Jackson Street
  • Type: Quadrangle Lattice Through Truss
  • Status: Active - Automobile
  • Total Length: 467 feet
  • Main Span Length: 221 feet
  • Spans:
  • Deck Width: 52 feet
  • Roadway Width: 39 feet


  1. Goodkind & O’Dea, Inc., and Raber Associates. Historic American Engineering Record, 1985, Jackson Street Bridge.
  2. Holth, Nathan. “Jackson Street Bridge.”, 2013.
  3. “Governor finally signs bill to repair bridges.” Herald-News [Passaic], 16 Mar. 1973, p. 7.
  4. “DOT Details Projects.” North Jersey Herald & News [Paterson], 25 Jul. 1987, p. B1.

1 thought on “Jackson Street Bridge”

  1. I think this is the same bridge featured in the movie “Bogus,” the bridge Whoopi Goldberg’s character Harriet was stopped at twice but the second time was shown. Harriet says after she gets to the airport to pick up Albert (Haley Joel Osment) “Sorry I’m late, the Jackson Street bridge was out and I couldn’t get across.” Then later when she goes to pick Albert up from school she’s shown stopped at that bridge again much to her chagrin!

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