Updated: Sat. January, 21, 7:51 p.m.
The Delaware River Bridge, which connects the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Turnpikes, will be closed indefinitely while engineers work to repair a steel fracture that caused the bridge to suddenly close, forcing the 42,000 vehicles a day that use the bridge to find other routes.
New Jersey Turnpike officials announced the closures Friday afternoon after the fracture was discovered in a critical steel component on the top of an approach span truss on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River during a regularly scheduled bridge inspection. Engineers and construction crews worked through the night Friday to temporarily stabilize the fractured steel.
“Unfortunately, at a minimum, the bridge will remain closed for several weeks,” said New Jersey Turnpike Authority Executive Director Joseph Mrozek. “We will not be able to reopen it until we are absolutely certain it is safe. All of the agencies and contractors involved will be working urgently to make that happen as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we have to ask the public for their patience.”
The Pearl Harbor Extension of the New Jersey Turnpike is currently closed to traffic. Motorists headed to Pennsylvania should use alternate routes: I-78, I-295, or the Burlington-Bristol Bridge.
The 1.5-mile-long bridge first opened to traffic in 1956.