SPARTA, NJ – A little bridge in Sparta may cause some headaches for bus riders and truck drivers.  The Q-06 bridge that traverses Main Street over the Walkill River just beyond town hall will be subjected to new weight limits according to the Sussex County Department of Engineering and Planning.

In a public notice, the Division of Engineering said a 10-ton weight restriction will imposed “in the interest of safety.”  Signs will be posted on or about Feb. 14, placed at all major intersections with Main Street and on both approaches to the Bridge Q-06 along Main Street.”

The advisory said “significant deterioration was observed in the concrete encased steel beams.”

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The restriction will affect school buses.  According to the Sparta School District Transportation Coordinator, Ria Gurski it will only affect the 54 passenger buses.  “Fortunately, it was just a handful of routes which needed to be rerouted.”

Gurski said any students who were affected were notified.  “Time changes were minimal,” but because the weight limit is expected to last for two years, Gurski said the changes would be permanent. 

Last March the bridge was closed for a week as Genesis Engineering, the county’s engineering contractor, conducted an inspection and evaluation of the 1930’s structure.  They did geotechnical soil borings as well, in anticipation of replacing the bridge.

The county announcement indicates Keller & Kirkpatrick, Inc of Morris Plains has been given the contract design the replacement bridge.  The project is “preliminarily scheduled for summer/fall 2019.”