Walt Whitman Bridge begins three years of repairs

The Delaware River Port Authority this week officially will embark on a multimillion-dollar renovation of the Walt Whitman Bridge.  The project will completely revamp the span’s roadways. 

Construction crews will start by closing down and tearing up the far right hand lane that takes drivers from Pennsylvania into New Jersey. Delaware River Port Authority CEO John Matheussen says that one lane could take five months.

“We’re talking about removing the steel under-supports for the bridge as well as the blacktopped area and replacing the entire deck,” said Matheussen. “We’re doing that lane by lane and we’ll successively move across the bridge from south to north each doing one lane at a time.” 

While working on this one far lane, the DRPA will be able to keep four lanes flowing into Philadelphia in the mornings and out of the city in the evening.  Matheussen says things could get trickier once work begins on middle lanes.

He says it could take up to three years to redo all seven of the bridge’s lanes. 

The project’s price tag sits at between $130 million and $135 million. That money comes from tolls collected at the DRPA’s four bridges.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.