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Devon Road Bridge Collapses

Officials said the bridge was getting replaced this summer anyway.

The Devon Road bridge is closed to through traffic after a neighbor said a trash truck driving over it caused its partial collapse over the weekend.

According to Deputy Mayor Anthony Minniti, the received a phone call Friday from a neighbor that the bridge partially collapsed and the truck that went over it just drove on.

However, Minniti said .

“The part you walk across,” Minniti said, “that wasn’t in really good shape.”

That part had been closed to the public.

There are weight restrictions for the bridge and Minniti said police are trying to find out what truck crossed the bridge and if weigh restrictions were violated.

“The police are conducting an investigation with the traffic department to find out if anything was done by the truck to cause failure,” Minniti said.

Despite the damage done Friday, Minniti said township committee already allocated money to replace the bridge as part of this year’s capital budget.

The township looked into using Federal Emergency Management Agency money after Hurricane Irene to replace the bridge, however since engineers said it was safe, there was no money available.

“It’s being replaced this year anyway,” he said. “Fortunately there wasn’t a situation where any vehicles or people were put at risk.”

The closed walkway was going to be replaced anyway, but the township decided to tackle the entire bridge. Since the bridge is on a school bus route, officials were waiting until the summer to do the project.

And Minniti said since it’s not such a huge project, the township will be replacing it in-house. Township Engineer Fred Turek did not return a call for comment but Minniti said the project would most likely be moved up after Friday’s accident.

“It wasn’t something where the bridge was unsafe, left or neglected” Minniti pointed out. “There’s going to be an investigation as to why it failed.”

Ric June 26, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Christina, thank you for looking into the Devon Bridge. I am confused why months ago the township turned down FEMA money to replace the bridge but now they say the bridge needs to be replaced (with Cinnaminson property owners paying the cost and not FEMA) but yet they still say that the bridge is still safe. I do not buy the argument that weight restrictions were violated. Still that should be easily confirmed. The trash truck going over that bridge has to be a township trash truck since every Friday is our trash day. Besides, I have never seen another town’s trash truck in my area, it is just too remote. That bridge has been in bad shape for years. I believe Irene was its fatal blow and I believe the township blew it by turning down federal dollars for replacing it.
Rachel Derr June 26, 2012 at 03:01 PM
This is certainly disconcerting. It has been very clear to me (and I am no engineer) that the bridge has been in serious need of repair and/or replacing since my family moved into the neighborhood 8 years ago. It is for that reason that I always avoid driving over it. An investigation as to why the truck caused the collapse is moot at this point. Let's not waste time and money on investigations and start replacing that bridge TODAY, before someone is seriously injured. What is to stop children from playing in that area, orange blockades??? Those blockades have been blocking the walking path for some time now, but they are easily circumvented. What disturbs me the most is that the project was delayed because a school bus drives over the bridge on a daily basis. This should have been the main reason to repair/replace it before it got to the dilapidated state it is in now. That could easily have been my children (they have traveled that route on Bus #34 for the past 6 years) who were on the bus when that bridge collapsed. VERY SCARY!!!
Mark June 26, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Thank you for doing the right thing. As far as Fred Turek NOT returning calls? That is not a surprise! He is the most absent public works superintendent in the history of that department.
Christina Paciolla (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Ric, I did not say anything about the township turning down FEMA money. Not really sure where you're getting that. The township was not offered FEMA money. Christina
Mark June 26, 2012 at 05:42 PM
I beleive Fred Turek got what he wanted out of the township. A public employees retirement. Well Freddy, you got it. Now do all of us residents a favor. Turn in your township owned (unmarked) SUV and retire from your cushy job. You have done nothing to impress me and this bridge not being in the fore front of a job that should have been moved up in the schedule is the water over the dam!
AnoninCinna June 26, 2012 at 07:13 PM
"To see if the truck did anything to cause the damage" ?!?!? Really, Mr. Minnitti, just when we thought you couldn't sink any lower - no pun intended. For once, please just do the right thing and fix the bridge instead of deflecting blame. It is sad and frankly, pathetic. Lucky it wasn't a bus full of kids. Wonder who he would blame then?
Marjorie Blasucci June 26, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I live on Devon and the bridge has been neglected for a few years, I wouldn't have my two sons using it with their wheel chairs. As for the pedestrian walkway,that was really dangerous long before the barriers wer put up. Cinnaminson residents need that eyesore repaired asap.
Bill Melator June 26, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Another amazing story. A bridge collapses which has had concerns for years, and even the walking part closed, but some engineer deemed it safe? And Minniti wants to investigate the trash truck? I would think the engineer that deemed it safe is who should be investigated. But we all know how that works. Keep those campaign contributions coming. More priceless township comedy... I mean committee.
Mark June 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM
@ Bill. I would think the the engineer that inspected it and deemed it safe would have been the townships own engineer. He is on the township payroll listed as the superintendent of public works/ engineer after his name. Then there is a whole list of letters of some sort after the engineer word. I guess that is to impress someone. Who? I don't know.
Brad June 26, 2012 at 10:46 PM
You would think the btidge would have been a priority, not some sledding hill. Only in cinnaminson will people continue to elect this joker minniti. Read this guys quotes, if I didn't live in this town this would be hilarious.
Christina Paciolla (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 11:01 PM
The township engineer isn't the same as the engineering company for the township. The engineers from the township deemed it safe. Since the cops were called by a neighbor, it's the police's investigation to find out if the weight restriction was compromised.
Christina Paciolla (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Let me get back to you about the township engineer versus company. Fred Turek is an employee of the township—he's the engineer and public works superintendent. Our engineering company are consultants. But I'll get you a more specific answer. We were not eligible for FEMA money for the bridge. If engineers said Irene caused damage, the township could apply for emergency money. Since there was no damage reported from Irene, the township can't get FEMA money.
Lisa W. June 27, 2012 at 12:11 AM
I can't believe they are shocked that a trash truck went over the bridge Friday. Friday is trash pick up day on Devon Road!! And why is it ok for it to be closed to pedestrians, for several years?? It is a terrible eyesore.
Richard June 27, 2012 at 07:17 AM
I think Mr Turek should be held accountable. He is paid to protect us from thinks like this. Who does he think he is that he doesn't need to return calls from Tax payers?
Cinnacide June 27, 2012 at 08:25 AM
I heard he used this bridge plot to cover up his involvement with JFK's assassination. You've outdone yourself this time, Mr.Turek.
Cinnacide June 27, 2012 at 08:31 AM
If only we could harness the power of anger from old white republicans in Cinnaminson who get easily riled up over thoughts of Obama's 2nd term... then she would be unbreakable.
Ric June 27, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Or harness the power of angry white Democrats who claim anyone white person (Republican or Democrat) who opposes Obama is a racist.
Ric June 27, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Christina, You said that because the engineers said the bridge was safe, they did not ask for FEMA money. Seems to me that the bridge did not go from safe to unsafe because of the little snowfall we had over the winter. The bridge was unsafe back in September and if engineers had correctly called it, the township could have applied for FEMA money.
Larry June 27, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Absolutely RIGHT ON THE MONEY. Replace the engineers, replace Minniti, and replace the bridge.No need to investigate trash trucks - simply fix the problem and move on.
Larry June 27, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Since you and I both do live in this town the correct word should be changed from hilarious to criminal or maybe just plain pathetic. This guy claims to be our leader and he can't tell this bridge is in such bad shape? Sleep well at night our fearless joker, do you?
MikeHunt June 27, 2012 at 08:09 PM
We have been trying to get this bridge fixed for years. Constantly asking our "leaders" to actually do some work for the community. The long running solution was to add asphalt and look the other way. O yeah, throw in some giant orange eye sores because they do a lot to fix the problem.
devon road citizen June 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Three years ago, I watched a little boy run up my street, past by my house (Devon Road) screaming because he stepped on a nail while walking across the bridge ~ I was horrified that this child should inflict pain (through his shoe, mind you). All due to the fact that the bridge has been falling apart for years. I grew up on this street. We used love to go down the bridge/creek, as kids to explore etc. Anyway, we called the township (zoning) they stated it was a "county bridge" not the township's problem. Now, suddenly...a trash truck (has already been stated on a Friday, trash day)...driving its usual route...CAVES in bridge/roadway. And they are questioning the weight limit? There are no signs indicating the weight limit for this bridge. Township vehicles use this bridge what once a month with dump trucks and machinery to pick up "brush". and recyclables every other week. C'mon guys just fix the bridge!!! Fix the bridge without looking at tax payers... do not leave this eye sore on Devon Road any longer.
Pocohontas June 27, 2012 at 11:41 PM
You guys mean to tell me you would rather have a bridge fixed than have a beautiful gazebo and new bathrooms at the park?? Loll seriously RIDICULOUS. Oh yea and we needed a Christmas tree too. Just like we need a circle for the new development...I mean for driving safety.
Larry Davis June 28, 2012 at 01:15 AM
That bridge has been neglected for years. It should have been replace the same time the one on Wayne was replaced. Speaking of circles or should I say "roundabouts". The state has been replacing them for years because they've become outdated and not practical for today's traffic. Who's brain child is this.
Ric June 28, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Perhaps the quickest way to get Devon Road repaired is to elect someone from the road to the township committee.
Richard June 28, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Cinacide, assuming that any negitive comments are made by angry whites shows who the real racists are
Cinnacide June 28, 2012 at 03:59 AM
No, I disagree. Let's be honest though, how many republicans do you know that are black? Probably not a lot.
JS July 01, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Right on the money, Brad (no pun intended). Everyday it's something new and ridiculous - from sledding hills to gazebos. I've lived in this town for 47 years and I remember there would always be some buzz about "where is the tax money going?", etc. But it's more than a "buzz" now. But keep in mind the old adage, "burn me once, shame on you; burn me twice, shame on me." We as a town keep electing these bozos. Unless we collectively and systematically vote them out, I guess we are getting what we deserve. We have to stop empowering these people.
Larry July 02, 2012 at 02:08 PM
JS, I agree with everything you said except Unless we collectively and systematically vote them out, "I guess we are getting what we deserve. " Noone should deserve to be violated by these sick township officials. The problem is that they are extremely expensive to stop, especially when they are being funded by those that would fill our community with bridge studies, traaffic circcle roundabout iompediments and the like. It would do our community so much good if kickbacks could be intercepted and put in the township coffers. Heck, we might do away with taxes altogether LOL
Yogi July 02, 2012 at 09:31 PM
If there were weight restrictions for the bridge, it should have been posted what the weight limit was, plain and simple. Mr Minnitti do you have any idea how much a school bus weighs? I would think that a trash truck and school bus weights are both well over 15 tons! Please don't pass the blame, be responsible. That's all we "residents" are asking for some accountability. By passing the blame it makes you look very untrustworthy!

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