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Released: 7/8/2011 

Walt Whitman Bridge To Be Closed Overnight On Wednesday, July 13 And Possibly Thursday, July 14

Latest stage in the Walt Whitman Bridge Re-Decking Project

Drivers who would normally use the Walt Whitman Bridge between Midnight and 4:00 AM on Wednesday, July 13, should consider an alternate route.  Alternate routes include either the Ben Franklin or Commodore Barry Bridge.  The Walt Whitman Bridge will be closed to all traffic for the installation of three gantry cranes to support the on-going re-decking project.  The gantry cranes will span the width of the bridge and will be used over the next 2-3 years for the removal and replacement of the existing bridge deck.  In advance of closing the entire bridge, the three middle lanes will be closed beginning at 8:00 PM Tuesday, July 12, leaving two lanes open in each direction.  Thursday, July 14, will be a standby date. 

DRPA Chief Engineer, Michael Venuto, says “the decision was made to close the Walt Whitman Bridge once for four hours rather than intermittently over two or more days to minimize inconvenience to our customers and also to reduce safety risks to drivers and workers.” 

DRPA CEO, John J. Matheussen says “this is the largest capital project for any DRPA Bridge and is part of the DRPA’s 5 year $1 billion capital improvement program.”  In May of 2010 the DRPA Board of Commissioners approved two contracts totaling nearly $140 million to both re-deck the bridge and monitor construction of the project.  A $128 million construction contract was awarded to the American Bridge Company of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania.  An $11 million construction monitoring contract was awarded to the joint venture of Urban Engineers Inc./URS Corporation of Philadelphia.  The re-decking project will result in an entirely new deck over the Delaware River including the removal of the suspended span, installation of a new lightweight concrete filled jointless grid deck, structure improvements, new parapets and a new steel shell moveable barrier.

The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency.  DRPA owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross Bridges, and PATCO.  The DRPA also owns the RiverLink Ferry.

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