Traffic delays return as phase II of the Delaware Memorial Bridge project gets underway
After taking a break over the holidays, construction work is back underway to overhaul the driving surface on the bridge connecting New Jersey and Delaware.
Traffic on both of the Delaware Memorial Bridge’s twin spans will be limited from now through late May as work resumes on a project to replace the entire driving surface of the bridge.
The second phase of the project will focus on the entire length of the left lanes on the New Jersey-bound span.
“While the project has been designed to minimize traffic delays to the extent possible, motorists may encounter them, particularly during rush hour time periods and peak weekend travel times,” said David Hoppenjans, chief engineer for the Delaware River and Bay Authority, which operates the bridges. “We’re focused on completing this necessary bridge work safely and efficiently.”
The first phase of the project started in September and ended just before Thanksgiving to make way for an influx of holiday travelers. The second phase will run through May 25, ending just in time for the start of the summer travel season Memorial Day weekend. A third phase is scheduled to begin in September and run through late November.
While work is being done on the New Jersey-bound side, traffic on the Delaware-bound side will be impacted as well. One lane of traffic on the Delaware-bound side will be divided off to allow drivers headed to New Jersey to cross on what would normally be the southbound side, resulting in three lanes of traffic flowing in each direction.
The $71 million project will replace the top two inches of existing deck slabs on the older New Jersey-bound span. That will be replaced with ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC). According to the Federal Highway Administration, UHPC helps enhance durability and lengthen the life of a paving project.
More than a million cars cross the Delaware River between New Castle, Delaware and Pennsville, New Jersey, every month. Since the first span of the bridge opened in 1951, more than a billion cars have crossed the twin spans, resulting in a lot of wear and tear.
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