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New Hope toll bridge completes repairs.


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Monday, October 12, 2009

Curt Yeske


NEW HOPE, Pa. -- Traffic on the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge has returned to four lanes after a major repair project on the 28-year-old span's support structure.


The bridge's right-hand lanes had been shut down since November 2007, when damage to some cantilever brackets was discovered during a routine inspection.



The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission last winter authorized two contracts to repair and strengthen the bridge's 130 cantilever brackets, some of which were damaged by rusting.


The construction contract was awarded to Cornell & Co., of Woodbury, for $2,102,984. The contract for construction management and inspections went to STV Inc. of Douglasville, Pa., for $998,414.


Although the interstate agency considered the bridge, located on Route 202, to be safe, it closed the outer lanes as a precautionary measure while it assessed the damage, developed an appropriate remedial plan and then carried out the repairs.


"We have come to the point where we can fully reopen the bridge to traffic for the first time in nearly two years," said Frank G. McCartney, executive director of the commission. "There are several project details that still need to be completed, but the bulk of the work is behind us."


The contractors worked under a series of restrictions but still got the work done on time, according to the commission's timetable.


The contractors had to prevent any objects or material from falling into the river and ensure safe pedestrian travel on the canal paths beneath the bridge.


They also had to observe local noise ordinances, which limited workdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays. No work was allowed on Sundays or holidays.


The part of the cantilever brackets that underwent repairs was a steel connection plate considered by the commission staff and independent consultants to be excessively prone to rust damage. The contract included removal of the rust-prone section of steel on each bracket and the installation of a new higher-strength steel replacement.


The nearly 1,700-foot-long bridge had a daily traffic count averaging 10,700 in 2008.





This is a major rural PA-NJ route, i'm glad they are ready to make it full capacity again!


- A

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