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Released: 10/31/2013 

Seven-Lane Traffic Returns to Walt Whitman Bridge; DRPA Expects Re-decking Project to End Later this Year

CAMDEN, N.J. – For the first time in more than two years, all seven lanes of the Walt Whitman Bridge are ready for motor vehicle traffic, the Delaware River Port Authority announced today.

            The DRPA will continue to close individual lanes until the $140 million bridge re-decking project concludes near the end of this year.

            “But all seven lanes on the Walt Whitman Bridge will be open to traffic most of the time,” said DRPA Chief Engineer Michael Venuto. “This is the payoff our customers deserve for their patience and forbearance.  We’re months ahead of schedule, but we understand why this project may have seemed endless to motorists.  Now it’s almost over, and we’re as happy as they are.”  

            With a new roadway deck in place, the bridge can now accommodate as many as four lanes of traffic in one direction – an arrangement that helps relieve bottlenecks during periods of heavy travel.  During this evening’s rush hour, four lanes of traffic will be open into New Jersey for the first time since the project started.

Begun in 2011, the re-decking project included removal of the suspended span, installation of a lightweight grid deck, structural improvements, new parapets and a new steel-shell movable barrier.  More than 56 years old, the Walt Whitman Bridge first opened to traffic on May 16, 1957.  In 2012, motor vehicles crossed the bridge about 37 million times.

            The deck removal and replacement project 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.


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