Category Archives: Bridges And Tunnels

Bridge and tunnel updates across all states

Delaware River Bridge To Remain Closed Two Months

Officials Announce April Reopening, But Only If “Best Case Scenario” Prevails

The Delaware River Bridge, which connects the New Jersey Turnpike and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, is slated to remain closed at least another eight weeks, officials announced Friday. The bridge was shut to civilian traffic on Friday, January 20 when a large crack was discovered in a support truss. The decision to keep the bridge closed was made by a joint engineering task force being co-led by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The agencies jointly own and manage the DRB.

Jacking And Realigning Bridge To Take At Least One Month

Crack in Delaware River Bridge

Weight loads shifted considerably, officials say, when this crack opened in a support truss of the DRB, which has been closed to traffic since January 20, 2017. The bridge now must be realigned before the fracture can be repaired.

That means the next several weeks will be devoted to installing temporary towers and hydraulic jacks to realign the bridge. The groundwork for the jacking towers began last week, authorities said. Steel-pipe pilings are being installed underground, according to officials, that will support 80-foot towers. Those towers will be carefully jacked into position to realign the bridge, but that will not happen until early March, at least, according to authorities.

However, officials admit they do not know whether the rest of the bridge can support a regular traffic flow, and authorities said they will not be able to determine that until the jacking process is completed.

“The goal of the jacking operation is to return the bridge to its original position and allow us to complete a permanent splice of the fracture,” said Brad Heigel, Chief Engineer for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. “As the jacking operation occurs, and load is transferred within the bridge, instrumentation will monitor the actual loads, stresses and displacements, which will be compared to estimated outcomes from computer models.”

Agency Heads Say They Hope For “Best Case Scenario”, But Sound Cautionary Tone

“Under the best case scenario, the bridge will return to its original position and the construction team will be able to install a permanent repair splice on the fractured steel member,” officials with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority wrote in a prepared statement. “It is possible, however, that the process will reveal the need for a [sic] more complex repairs or possibly even replacement of the entire structure, in which case the closure would last longer.”

“We want to get this bridge reopened to traffic as soon as we are safely able to do so,” said New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Richard T. Hammer. Hammer also serves as chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority board.

“We understand the inconvenience this closure creates for tens of thousands of drivers every day,” he said. “We are working around the clock to get it reopened. But we won’t allow a single car to cross that bridge until we are absolutely certain that it is safe.”

Alternate routes remain in effect for traffic crossing between the two states’ turnpikes. Authorities say the DRB carries an average of 42-thousand vehicles per day across the now-disabled span.

REPAIR TIMETABLE

The PTC announced a tentative repair timetable, which authorities say represents the best case scenario for reopening the bridge to traffic. That timetable is as follows:

Estimated Bridge Repair Timetable

  • Feb. 6 – Install jacking towers.
  • Feb. 13 – Install jacking towers, instrumentation and structural reinforcement required for jacking.
  • Feb. 20 – Install instrumentation and structural reinforcement required for jacking.
  • Feb. 27 – Install structural reinforcement required for jacking.
  • March 6 – Perform jacking.
  • March 13 – Install permanent repair splice.
  • March 20 – Perform load testing.
  • March 27 – Demobilize jacking towers.


ALTERNATE ROUTES

Eastbound Detour (Pennsylvania to New Jersey)

PA Turnpike motorists heading east into New Jersey should use this revised alternate route: Exit at the Bensalem Interchange, #351 in Bucks County. Follow U.S. Route 1 north, to I-95 north, to I-295, south, to I-195 east. Take Exit 6 on I-195, and reenter the NJ Turnpike. Source: PA Turnpike Commission.

Westbound Detour (New Jersey to Pennsylvania)

NJTP drivers heading west into Pennsylvania will need to use either Interstate 78, Interstate 295, or the Burlington-Bristol Bridge. Source: New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Bayonne Bridge Closures Impact Day and Night Traffic

Bridge Only To Open For Rush Hour Traffic

Bayonne BridgeThe Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will close the Bayonne Bridge to all traffic this morning at 9 a.m., and will reopen the span at 3 p.m. this afternoon. The bridge will close again at 7 p.m. this evening, and it will remain closed until 5 a.m. tomorrow. Identical closures will impact traffic on Thursday.

The daytime closure will also be in place Friday, the Port Authority announced, but the overnight closure will not be in effect Friday night.

In brief, the closures are as follows:

  • Wednesday, October 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and again from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. Thursday
  • Thursday, October 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and again from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. Friday
  • Friday, October 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All traffic will be diverted to the Goethals Bridge during the closures.

Lower-Level GWB Closures Start Tonight

Closures To Impact Eastbound And Westbound Lanes

George Washington BridgeConstruction on the George Washington Bridge, at and near the GWB Bus Station, will force the overnight closures of all eastbound lanes of the GWB from October 12 through October 14, 2016, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced. Westbound lanes will also be affected, and through October 15. However, some traffic leaving New York will be permitted on the lower levels.

The eastbound closures begin at 9 p.m. tonight and Thursday, and will be lifted by 5 a.m. The Friday night closures will begin at 10 p.m. and be lifted Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Moreover, the Friday night closure will include the eastbound lower expressway, the Port Authority announced on its website. The expressway will close at midnight Friday and reopen Saturday morning at 5 a.m.

Officials also announced lane restrictions on the eastbound lower-level exit to Hudson Parkway (Route 9A) and Riverside Drive, but the exit will be open.

The westbound lower expressway lanes will also be impacted; however, some lanes will remain open during overnight construction work. Westbound lane restrictions Wednesday and Thursday night will begin at 10 p.m. and end the following morning at 5. The Friday and Saturday night restrictions will be in effect from midnight to 8 a.m. the following day.

The Port Authority is already warning of significant delays as a result of the restrictions.

A breakdown of the closures is shown below.

East

 

Eastbound

GWB Lower level, full closures:

  • Wednesday, October 12, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thu.
  • Thursday, October 13, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Fri.
  • Friday, October 14, from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. Sat.

GWB Lower expressway, full closures:

  • Friday, October 14, from 11:59 p.m. until  5 a.m. Sat.

GWB Lower level exit restrictions:

Exit 1 to Hudson Parkway

  • Thursday, October 14, from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. Fri.
  • Firday, October 15, from 11:59 p.m. until 8 a.m. Sat.

West

Westbound

GWB Lower level, lane restrictions:

Two lanes closed westbound.

  • Wednesday, October 12, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thu.
  • Thursday, October 13, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Fri.
  • Friday, October 14, from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. Sat.
  • Saturday, October 15, from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. Sun.

Geothals Bridge Closing Friday Night, October 7

Goethals BridgeThe Goethals Bridge between New Jersey and Staten Island will be closing tonight at 10 p.m., the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced. The closure begins Friday night, October 7, at 10 p.m. and continues through Saturday morning, to 8 a.m.

Officials have opened the Bayonne Bridge for the duration of the Columbus Day weekend, and the Outerbridge Crossing, to the south, is an alternate route.

Bayonne Bridge Closures For Week of October 3

Daytime And Night Closures Impact All Traffic

Bridge To Remain Open Columbus Day Weekend

Bayonne Bridge iconThe Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced the Bayonne Bridge will be closing weekdays this week to accommodate continued construction, as part of the Navigational Clearance Project.

Bridge closures will affect all traffic across the bridge between the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday this week, and overnight closures on the bridge will affect traffic from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. until Friday morning.

Officials with the PANYNJ plan to keep the Bayonne Bridge open through the Columbus Day weekend, beginning at 3 p.m. this Friday, October 7.

The Bayonne Bridge is currently undergoing a multi-year reconstruction that will raise the span to accommodate larger sea vessels. The Raise The Road Project, as it is dubbed by the port authority, is scheduled for completion in 2019.