By David Madden
NEW JERSEY (CBS) — Work is scheduled to begin this week to replace the railroad bridge over the Mantua Creek where a Conrail freight train derailed almost one year ago, prompting the evacuation of a good part of the town of Paulsboro for several days when a car leaked dangerous vinyl chloride into the air.
The derailment is the subject of more than a dozen lawsuits now filed in federal court.
But Conrail is moving ahead with replacing the 140 year old movable bridge.
That’s no easy task says Conrail spokesman Michael Hotra.
“It’s going to be a process of getting the track ready, removing some debris from around the area, driving piles. Then there’s going to a little bit of a break during fish spawning season in the spring. Work will continue over the summer and we expect to meet our previously announced completion date of September, 2014 for the new span.”
He won’t say how much it’ll cost, but stresses Conrail is footing the entire bill for what he calls a “state of the art” rail bridge, which will still open to allow boat traffic on the creek when not in use.
The old bridge has been in the closed position since the accident.