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Washout looking north to Branchville, September 2004. April 2009 – Sussex Branch Trail washout near Branchville undergoes repair…

For years the Dry Brook has been eating away at the fill which once supported the rails of the Lackawanna Railroad's Sussex Branch. This washout is located one mile south (railroad east) of the former station site in the town of Branchville, NJ. Near the middle of April 2009, work began on the restoration of the right-of-way. To safely complete the project, the Sussex Branch Rail Trail was closed from Augusta to the Route 206 overpass, just south of Branchville. The "Trail Closed" signs indicate that work is to be completed around mid-June 2009. The photo at left shows what the washout looked like in September of 2004, looking north to Branchville.


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Washout looking north to Branchville, 4/16/09.
The next 2 photos show what things looked like just days after equipment arrived on April 16 – on the left, looking north to Branchville, and below, looking south to Augusta.

Washout looking south to Augusta, 4/16/09.

Washout looking north to Branchville, 4/24/09.
The following week, 4/24/09 – on the left, looking north to Branchville, and below, looking south to Augusta.…

Washout looking south to Augusta, 4/24/09.

Washout looking north to Branchville, 5/13/09.
By May 13th we can see what the repair technique will be. A wall of 1-inch steel plate has been staked to the brook bed, and will serve as a retaining wall, from which to begin building the new right-of-way. The photo to left looks north to Branchville, and the one below looks south to Augusta…

Washout looking south to Augusta, 5/13/09.

Washout repair looking north to Branchville, 5/31/09.
By May 31st the repair work is basically done! The fill is back to the original grade, and the alignment is perfectly straight with the original r-o-w. The photo to left looks north to Branchville, and the one below looks south to Augusta…

Washout repair looking south to Augusta, 5/31/09.

Washout repair looking north to Branchville, 5/31/09.
Looking out over the washout repair from the existing trail – on the left, north to Branchville, and below, south to Augusta…

Washout repair looking south to Augusta, 5/31/09.

Washout repair looking north to Branchville, 6/14/09.
By June 14th …the proposed completion date (as stated on the trail barricade posters), the work seems complete. They've even spread top soil and grass seed down each side of the embankment. However, as late as today, June 22nd, the barricades are still up, and that large roller still stands guard in the center of the new fill. I'm not sure what remains to be done. The photo to left looks north to Branchville, and the one below looks south to Augusta…

Washout repair looking south to Augusta, 6/14/09.

Washout repair looking north to Branchville, 7/ 8/09.
By the first week of July the equipment was gone, the barricades were removed, and the trail was re-opened. The construction crews pulled up the metal bulkheads that had been put in the water along the western side of the repair. The photo to left looks north to Branchville, and the one below looks south to Augusta…

Washout repair looking south to Augusta, 7/ 8/09.

Trail looking from repair site north to Branchville, 7/ 8/09.
The work crew ran an RTV north to the Route 206 overpass to retrieve the "trail closed" barricades. In doing so, they trampled down some of the overgrowth and opened up the trail a bit… on the left, looking north to Branchville, and below, looking south to the repair site clearing…

Trail looking south to repair site clearing, 7/ 8/09.