EASTON, PA – The first of three protracted traffic shifts with single lanes in each direction at the Northampton Street Bridge (“the free bridge”) is scheduled to begin 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced today.
The 9 a.m. start time marks the end of the normal peak weekday morning travel period. At that time, the contractor for a roughly year-long bridge rehabilitation project will shut down the structure’s upstream lane and adjoining walkway. Vehicular traffic would then be restricted to single lanes in each direction on the bridge’s downstream side. Only the downstream pedestrian walkway would be open.
The Commission is urging commuters to allow additional time to reach their destinations once bridge rehabilitation work gets fully underway and motorists adjust to the new travel pattern. The Commission further advises motorists to slow down and exercise caution when traveling through an active work zone.
The initial shifted travel pattern is scheduled to remain in place without interruption until early July, providing a safely cordoned work area for the project’s contractor on the bridge’s upstream side.
When this initial stage of work is completed, a similar traffic and pedestrian-access shift will be made to the bridge’s upstream side to create a barricaded work zone downstream. This second shift is expect to last into October.
A third traffic shift from October into November would then allow for a work area in the center of the bridge with flanking single lanes of traffic, one upstream and one downstream.
More details on the bridge rehabilitation project are available on the project’s webpage: www.drjtbc.org/project/freebridge.
Final project completion is currently expected to be achieved in spring 2023. The bridge was last rehabilitated in 2001. The 550-foot-long, 36-foot-wide bridge is the Commission’s busiest non-toll crossing. It carried a daily average of 16,500 vehicles (both directions) in 2021. The bridge has a three-ton weight limit and a 15-mph speed limit. Bridge monitors are stationed at each end of the bridge on a 24/7 basis to prevent crossings of overweight vehicles.