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Released: 1/4/2021 

A Best of 2020 Recap

The year 2020 has been a year unlike no other. We’ve all had to adapt, find new ways to live, connect and work. Like everyone, DRPA and PATCO have risen to the challenge, and together we have grown, evolved, and moved forward. Here is a list, in no particular order, of some of the newsworthy items that occurred at the DRPA and PATCO in 2020:

COVID-19 Response
DRPA/PATCO took immediate steps to implement extensive protective measures to continue to provide our bridge users and PATCO riders with safe and reliable transportation services. We made a pledge to our community that we’re taking necessary health and safety measures during COVID-19. In 2020, PATCO instituted adaptive scheduling to meet ridership demand, enhanced its cleaning and sanitization of surfaces frequently touched and instituted additional measures to ensure the continuity of services amid the pandemic.

No Toll or Fare Increases in 2021
The DRPA Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to postpone a scheduled toll increase until at least 2022. The move marks the 10th year the DRPA has gone without a toll hike on its four bridges or fare increase for PATCO riders.

Record high on-time performance
In 2020, PATCO’s annual on-time performance reached nearly 98%. This achievement is through the collaboration across multiple departments working in unison to create a hassle-free travel experience for PATCO riders.

Recognized as An Industry Leader
The DRPA and PATCO were honored with several awards throughout the year of 2020, including the Regional Corporation “Done Deals Award” from the Women’s Business Enterprise Center and awards from the Special Districts for Technology Innovation Leadership and Citizenship.

Powered by the Sun
During the summer, DRPA broke ground for an unprecedented 22-megawatt solar energy project. The project features more than 50,000 solar panels and is expected to provide more than 50% of the total electricity consumption through solar energy for the DRPA and PATCO.

The Largest Project in DRPA’s History Begins
In 2020, the Ben Franklin Bridge Suspension Span & Anchorage Rehabilitation project began. This $216.9 million project includes dehumidification of the main suspension cables, rehabilitation of the North and South walkways, maintenance painting and miscellaneous steel repairs, replacement of decorative lighting, and widening of the North walkway in Camden.

Massive Bee Swarms Leads to Closure of Ben Franklin Bridge Walkway
In September, a massive swarm, estimated to be approximately 15,000 bees, gathered at the base of a cable support along the Ben Franklin Bridge pedestrian walkway. The walkway was closed as a precaution and an urban apiarist was called to the scene to remove the bees.

The ‘Zipper' Turns 20
You have no doubt seen this unusual machine moving at a snail’s pace in the middle of the Ben Franklin Bridge. The main jobs of the “Zipper” is to control the traffic flow on the bridge and to safety separate traffic traveling in separate directions. Learn more…


A Project Moving Along with Ups & Downs
Despite the challenging logistics of the COVID-19 pandemic, work is steadily progressing on the PATCO elevator installation project. Once completed, the project will make all 13 PATCO stations fully accessible to individuals with disabilities and those using wheelchairs, strollers and bicycles. 

Blue Angels & Thunderbirds Flyover Ben Franklin Bridge
On April 28, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds staged a dramatic flyover the region that included a flight pattern over the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Walt Whitman Bridge I-76 Corridor Rehab Project in Full Swing
The multi-year project will rehabilitate approximately two miles of Interstate 76 in South Philadelphia between the bridge’s toll plaza and Passyunk Avenue. As part of the project, several gantries weighing approximately 34,000-pounds were removed from the Walt Whitman Bridge.

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