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July 26, 2010


Contact: Joe Donnelly (215) 862-7693 or Pete Peterson (215) 893-4297

NEW HOPE, PA - The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today awarded an engineering contract today for the near-term improvement project that will soon begin construction at the Washington Crossing Toll-Supported Bridge between Hopewell Township, N.J. and Upper Makefield, PA.

Hill International, Inc. of Marlton, NJ will provide construction management and construction inspection services for the project. The contract award is for an amount not to exceed $319,826.73.

Construction activities will include much-needed repairs of the bridge's masonry wingwalls, abutment backwalls, and pier aprons; installation of aesthetic treatment on the second pier; improvements to the pedestrian railing; replacement of the pedestrian sidewalk decking; milling, repaving and restriping approach roadway pavement; installation of updated signage; and maintenance to the bridge's light fixtures.

"The Commission is undertaking some near-term improvement to the bridge - with the bulging and cracking of the masonry walls of the bridge being our primary focus," said Frank G. McCartney, the Commission's executive director. "During the required closure of the bridge to address the masonry wing and back walls, the commission will be conducting other improvements that will help enhance the bridge's functionality."

Based on public feedback following an outreach effort to the local community, the Commission will utilize the shortest traffic-closure option of 46 days to minimize the length of the project's traffic and economic impacts. The Commission issued the project's general contractor a notice to proceed on Friday. The contractor will begin site preparation and materials delivery work this week. An announcement on when the 46-day traffic closure will begin and end is expected to be issued within the next two weeks.

Depending on when the bridge closure takes effect, traffic will not be permitted back on the bridge until late September at the earliest.

Individuals seeking more information on the project can visit the project web page, found under the Commission Projects section of the agency's Web site - www.drjtbc.org - under "Washington Crossing Toll-Supported Bridge Near-Term Improvements Project." The direct link for the page is: http://www.drjtbc.org/default.aspx?pageid=1408.

The Washington Crossing Toll-Supported Bridge connects County Route 546 in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, N.J. with PA Route 532 in Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County, PA. The bridge is a six-span double Warren truss structure, with a total length of 877 feet. The open steel grid deck provides a clear roadway width of 15 feet between steel channel rub-rails. The downriver side of the truss supports a cantilevered, wood planked pedestrian sidewalk.

The bridge handled an average 6,900 vehicles a day in 2009. It has a 15-mph speed limit and a 3-ton weight limit. It is the narrowest vehicular span in the Commission's 20 bridge inventory between the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The superstructure of the existing bridge was constructed in 1904. The bridge substructure, which is composed of rubble-stone-faced masonry, dates to the construction of the first wooden bridge at the location in 1831.

About the Commission

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission was formed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey in 1934. It operates seven toll bridges and 13 toll-supported bridges, two of which are pedestrian-only spans. The Commission's jurisdiction extends along the Delaware River from the Philadelphia-Bucks County line north to the New Jersey/New York border. The bridges carried more than 139.5 million cars and trucks in 2009. For more information about the Commission and its various initiatives to deliver safer and more convenient bridge travel for its customers, please see: www.drjtbc.org.

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