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Released: 8/30/2012 

Heavy Labor Day Traffic Expected on Walt Whitman Bridge

                         Heavy Labor Day Traffic Expected on Walt Whitman Bridge

                         DRPA Advises Drivers to Expect Delays and Plan Accordingly

Motorists crossing the Walt Whitman Bridge this weekend should expect delays caused by heavy Labor Day traffic passing through vehicle lanes configured for ongoing construction.
 
 Phase Four of the Walt Whitman Bridge redecking project began on July 12 and is expected to continue into October. During the current phase of construction, the center barrier cannot be moved to create more than three lanes of traffic in each direction – even when construction is suspended during a holiday.

 “Because we’re redecking the center lane on a seven-lane bridge, we can open no more than three lanes eastbound and three lanes westbound,” said DRPA Chief Engineer Michael Venuto. “At any other point in the project, we would be able to open four lanes in the direction of greatest traffic flow.  As families return from vacation and schools reopen, traffic volume will increase and delays across the bridge will become more likely.”

 Venuto suggested that motorists consider alternate crossings – such as the Commodore Barry Bridge, the Ben Franklin Bridge or the Betsy Ross Bridge – during peak traffic hours on Friday and Monday evenings.

 “We appreciate our customers’ patience during the redecking project and particularly during this phase of construction,” Venuto said. “We look forward to returning the Walt Whitman Bridge to a more flexible lane configuration this fall.”

 The deck removal and replacement project began in August 2011 and should be completed in the spring of 2014.  It is the second largest capital improvement project ever undertaken by the DRPA.  Two contracts totaling $139,774,286.67 to re-deck the Walt Whitman Bridge and monitor construction of the project were awarded by the DRPA Board of Commissioners in May 2010.

 Project updates are posted on a dedicated website, www.deckthewalt.com, and broadcast on 530 AM, DRPA Traffic Advisory Radio.
 
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The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency that connects millions of people and businesses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  The DRPA owns and operates the PATCO commuter rail line and the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross toll bridges.  The DRPA also owns the RiverLink Ferry.


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