EASTON, PA – The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today announced that it has awarded a $23.5 million construction contract to rehabilitate the agency’s New Jersey I-78 highway segment that extends between the I-78 Toll Bridge and the Phillipsburg/Alpha interchange (Exit 3, Routes 22/173/122).

The project primarily involves milling and paving work, including the three ramps the Commission owns at Exit 3. Other project tasks involve resurfacing of shoulders, installing shoulder rumble strips, roadway restriping, and sealing of the I-78 Toll Bridge’s concrete road deck and 14 other Commission-owned approach bridges in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The project also includes upgrades to the Commission’s security camera network at the I-78 Toll Bridge and the Commission’s I-78 approach highway segments in New Jersey (4.2 miles) and Pennsylvania (2.25 miles).

The Commission’s New Jersey I-78 highway segment was last rehabilitated between 2007 and 2009. The segment is showing advance signs of deterioration, having undergone a series of stop-gap asphalt joint replacements and pothole repair projects over the past five years.

The roadway segment easily ranks as the agency’s most geologically challenging to maintain.  Large sections of the New Jersey approach traverse a karst limestone terrain that is prone to sink holes and other instances of subsidence.  The combination of heavy traffic volumes – the I-78 Toll Bridge has the highest truck traffic among the Commission’s 18 vehicular bridges –and unsound topography exacerbates pavement cracking and shifting.

The upcoming project’s construction contract was awarded to low-bidder Crisdel Group, Inc. of South Plainfield, N.J. The Commission approved the contract, for a not-to-exceed amount of $23,530,677, at its monthly meeting on Monday, Feb. 26. Construction activities are expected to begin in early April. The work is reach completion by the end of the year.

Travel Impacts

The Commission is optimistic the work can be performed while maintaining at least two travel lanes in each direction during daytime periods and single lanes in each direction during overnight periods. The goal of the project is to rehabilitate and reconstruct the pavement so that rehabilitation will not be necessary for 15 years.

The Commission plans to issue travel alerts when warranted as the project progresses.

In addition to road-surface work, the project is expected to extensively overhaul the Commission’s security cameras on the I-78 Toll Bridge and along its New Jersey and Pennsylvania I-78 approaches. The Commission’s wireless communications network and solar power systems within its I-78 jurisdiction also will be upgraded. The work will include the installation of new poles, conduit, wiring, cameras, and integration.

The I-78 Toll Bridge crosses the Delaware River between Williams Township in Northampton County, PA. and the Town of Phillipsburg in Warren County, N.J., about two miles south of the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers at Easton, PA.

The structure opened to traffic in 1989 and now ranks as the Commission’s most heavily used river crossing with an average daily traffic count of 63,700 vehicles in 2023. This bridge is among the nation’s most heavily used truck crossings, linking North Jersey port facilities with Pennsylvania’s warehousing destinations.

The bridge is a 1,222 foot-long, seven-span twin structure. On the Pennsylvania side, the approach is a six-lane limited access highway beginning at Morgan Hill Road (Exit 75) and extending to the river bridge. The New Jersey approach is a six-lane roadway between the bridge and the first/last New Jersey exit.

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