Long-term repairs could mean big-time traffic at major South NJ bridge
Traffic backups at the Delaware Memorial Bridge can be wicked on a regular day. But what happens when the bridge is reduced from four lanes to three lanes in both directions around the clock?
Well, drivers, we are finding out now.
Work on the Delaware Memorial Bridge
Construction and 24/7 lane closures have begun in both directions on the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The bridge, which connects the New Jersey Turnpike and I-295 with I-95 in Delaware has been reduced by one lane in each direction leaving only three travel lanes available.
This long-term project will replace and improve the bridge decking as well as replace relief and expansion joints on the New Jersey Bound span.
The bridge is a major part of the highway system throughout the Northeast.
Construction will not be completed until November 2023.
The current three-lane traffic pattern
Northbound (headed to NJ) — Two lanes on the New Jersey-bound span are open for all traffic. The third travel lane has been moved to the other bridge span and will be restricted to traffic heading north to the NJ Turnpike. Commercial vehicles are prohibited from using this lane.
Southbound (headed to Delaware) — Three right lanes on the Delaware bound span are open for all traffic heading south to I-95/Wilmington area. The far left lane is divided by barrier and is for northbound traffic during the construction.
Expect additional lane closures during overnight and off-peak travel times.
How long will new traffic pattern last on the Delaware Memorial Bridge?
This new traffic pattern (Phase 1) is expected to be in place for about two months until November 22 (before Thanksgiving weekend of this year.) At this point, the Delaware River Bridge Authority, which operates the bridge, says construction activity associated with this project will be suspended during the winter months and the peak summer travel season.
An alternate river crossing is the Commodore Barry Bridge(US-322) which connects to Interchange 2 of the NJ Turnpike in Swedesboro.
Let’s hope that the repair work remains on schedule. This could become a real turkey of a delay on November 23.
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Bob Williams covers New Jersey Traffic North for New Jersey 101.5