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DRPA Reminds Drivers To Slow Down
By late spring of next year a major project, the redecking of the Walt Whitman Bridge, will be in full swing resulting in long term lane closures. Other upcoming construction projects include Deck Truss Rehabilitation on the Ben Franklin Bridge as well as structural repairs on the Betsy Ross and Commodore Barry Bridges. Routine maintenance, repairs and inspections requiring occasional lane closures take place on an almost daily basis on all four bridges. With this in mind DRPA officials are urging drivers to slow down, and observe posted speed limits, particularly in work zones.
DRPA CEO, John J. Matheussen, says “the goal is to get you to where you are going safely as well as protecting workers in our construction zones. We want to remind drivers there are men and women working on the bridges every day who are also somebody’s father, husband, son, sister, daughter, or mother dedicated to maintaing our bridges.”
Accidents in work zones are a major concern and they happen all too frequently. In late October a car went out of control on the Ben Franklin Bridge narrowly missing workers in a construction zone before crashing into a work truck. Matheussen adds “fortunately no one was hurt but it serves as a reminder that a near miss this time could be a fatal accident next time.”
The speed limit on the bridges is typically 45 mph, but, in construction zones, speed is restricted to 35 mph.
DRPA Police Chief, Dave McClintock, says “officers regularly patrol the bridges to make sure speed limits and other traffic laws are being followed.”
The accident on the Ben Franklin Bridge was caused when the driver of the car became distracted while setting her cruise control. McClintock says “other distractions such as talking on a cell phone, changing a compact disc, applying makeup, or eating should be avoided at all times and particularly when driving through a construction zone.”
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