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Released: 5/16/2014 

Outreach to Ben Franklin Bridge Motorists Continues

DRPA and PATCO Get the Message Out to Rush Hour Travelers

CAMDEN, N.J. –  On Monday, May 19th, and again on Wednesday, May 21st,  during the morning rush hours from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., DRPA and PATCO staff will be out in the cash toll lanes with information on the Ben Franklin Bridge Track Rehabilitation Project which begins shortly after Memorial Day.  

This much-needed work will result in new track and operating systems on the PATCO rails across the Ben Franklin Bridge. However it will also mean disrupting the commute for driving customers during two periods this summer.  Evening weekday commuters traveling east to New Jersey and reverse commuters (those driving east to New Jersey in the morning and west to Pennsylvania in the afternoon)  will be most affected by the lane closures. 

For 60 days beginning in early June and then again for 50 days later in the summer,  crews will work 24 hours a day,  7 days a week to replace and upgrade the PATCO rails and supporting structure on the bridge. During these periods, only one PATCO track will be in use instead of the usual two tracks. By working continuously during these periods, the project will finish sooner and not be prolonged by setting up and breaking down the work site each day.

The need to create enough work space for equipment used by the contractors,  who are often working out-of-sight and under the bridge roadway, will result in a reduced number of driving lanes on the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Employees,  including DRPA CEO/ PATCO President John T. Hanson and other agency executives, will be in the cash toll lanes distributing information during Monday and Wednesday morning rush hours.  The goal of the effort is to directly provide motorists with key information about the construction project and,  more importantly,  its effect on their commute.

“Our PATCO rails and supporting infrastructure on the Ben Franklin Bridge have reached the end of their useful life and it’s time to replace them.  The project won’t be easy for our transit and driving customers and we’re sorry for the inconvenience,”  says Hanson.

“We’re making an effort to meet face-to-face with our customers.  We hosted public town hall-style  meetings and held information sessions at PATCO stations.  Now we’re in the cash lanes at rush hour.  This same information will go to E-ZPass customers who provided email addresses. We’re doing everything we can to provide our commuters with the information they need to make informed decisions.”

Commuters are advised to visit www.drpa.org for travel updates.  To learn more about the Ben Franklin Bridge Track Rehabilitation Project, visit www.ridepatco.org/projects.

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