Delaware River Turnpike Bridge reopening ahead of schedule

     The bridge connecting the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes over the Delaware River will reopen Thursday. (Matt Rourke/AP)

    The bridge connecting the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes over the Delaware River will reopen Thursday. (Matt Rourke/AP)

    The Delaware River Turnpike Bridge will open late Thursday night, nearly three weeks ahead of schedule.

    Officials from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority announced the reopening of the jointly owned bridge Thursday afternoon.

    The 1.25-mile-long bridge, which carries traffic between the two states, closed Jan. 20 when a painting crew found a cracked truss under a westbound travel lane on the Pennsylvania side in Bristol Township, Bucks County.

    “Many people were greatly inconvenienced by this closure over the last seven weeks, and I know that everyone is excited to get this bridge reopened and to see their lives return to normal,” said Mark Compton, Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO.

    “Without a doubt, this incident was a bad dream for the two turnpike agencies and the contractors and consultants on our team, but a nightmare for customers and neighbors.”

    “We pledged to reopen the bridge as soon as we could do so safely,” said New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Richard T. Hammer, who serves as chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority board.

    Officials said good weather and “a round-the-clock effort involving dozens of engineers, contractors, scientists, and other workers,” contributed to the sooner-than-expected reopening.

    They had anticipated an early April reopening of the span that carries about 42,000 vehicles per day.

     

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